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A Man Named Pipe 


Ellen Scofield Silvers, Editor 







ia Vvoou Raglanu 

Library Fund 


A Man Named Pipes 




Introduction: By E. L. Spivey 

Part I: The Work Begun 

Chapter 1 
Chapter 2 
Chapter 3 
Chapter 4 
Chapter 5 

My Early Life and Education 4 

Backsliding and Repentance 10 

Back to School 13 

Poor Enough Preaching 15 

The Lord Will Provide 24 

Part II: The Vision Emerging 31 

Chapter 1: The Beginning 31 

Chapter 2: The Vision Glimpsed 32 

Chapter 3: The Vision Confirmed 43 

Chapter 4: The Vision Enlarged . ... 46 

Part III: The Vision Shared 62 

Chapter 1 
Chapter 2 
Chapter 3 

Sermons from the Storehouse 62 

The Vision Strengthened 72 

What Can I Add? By Ruth Pipes .. 7 7 

Conclusion: By Ellen Scofield Silvers 82 





** r < 






The story that you will read in the following pages 
is about an unforgettable person. The first time I met 
him he was describing to a group of people the length 
of his pointed red nose as he looked at himself sideways 
through a mirror. This is unforgettable too. 

If you have not met this man personally you have 
missed much of life's moral and spiritual tonic. We 
who have had the privilege are debtors to share with 
others something of the quality and character of this 
enriching personality. In order to accomplish this the 
editor traveled extensively, conferred with many rela- 
tives, friends, acquaintances, and communed much with 
the man himself. 

Mrs. Ellen Silvers has arranged the intensely in- 
teresting materials in such a way that The Man Named 
Pipes becomes the self-interpretation of the pioneer 
that he was. In reading the unique experiences of this 
unique man you will discover at least five factors that 
contributed to his greatness: 

First, his genuine intellectual honesty. The man 
named Pipes never sought to cover up when he knew 
he didn't know. He spoke with sincerity and convic- 
tion that which he knew and believed. No one doubted 
his integrity. This is why James Carter Pipes could 
communicate so well with the educated and the unedu- 

Second, his simplicity and humility. He spoke the 
language of the people and multitudes heard him gladly. 
His living was plain but dynamic, forthright but gentle. 
In his courage he was daring yet kind and helpful. He 
never blew his own horn but thousands have sung the 
praises of the man named Pipes. 

Third, his love for peo ple - es p eciall y people who 
hun g er for truth . In the concern of his possessive 
faith no man was hopeless. He believed in and had 
compassion for anyone who was willing to try to help 
himself and keep an open mind. His penetrating faith, 
linked with truth and love, opened the minds of many 

Fourth, the sorrows and jo ys experienced in his own 
families and the famil y of God . Some one has said that 
it seems that God's greatest servants have been his 
greatest sufferers. J. C. Pipes has had his days of 
heartbreak, loneliness and disappointment; yet in them 
he found the Glory of God and Christian victory. His 
companions in marriage have contributed greatly to his 
greatness and these have made a place for themselves 
in the kingdom of the faithful. In his service to the 
Christian fellowship of believers he has been scorned, 
criticized, misunderstood, befriended, honored and 
loved. His love for Christ and devotion to them enabled 
him to stand fast and abound in the work of the Lord. 

Fifth, his meditative mind and heart . Although in 
retirement, he maintains a continuing quest for truth 
and the will of God. A new idea he will reflect upon, 
pray about and test by experience and the scriptures. 
When once the idea is accepted it becomes a part of 
his being to live and share. 

These are some of the discoveries you will make as 
you read the unfolding story of The Man Named Pipes . 





The mountains of North Carolina have always been 
home to me. I was born on February 8, 1887, in a 
small town named Darby between Blowing Rock and 
Wilkesboro, in Wilkes County, in the heart of North 
Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. This section of the 
country was rough, tough, and famous for its corn whis- 
key and apple brandy. If fact, three government stills 
were in operation within a mile of our home ! 

Nevertheless my sister, my two brothers, and I 
grew up quietly on a small farm with our parents, 
Rufus and Docia Hendrix Pipes. Our home was a large 
log house with five rooms. The house had a spacious 
chimney in the middle of the house, and my grandmother 
lived in one end of the house and we lived in the other, 

My grandmother meant a great deal in my early re- 
ligious experience. At my birth she was already 
eighty -five years old, and a devout Christian; her most 
treasured possessions were a coarse-print New Testa- 
ment and Psalms and an old-fashioned hymn book. 
Until her death when I was nine, I spent my nights with 
her, and every night she would read a Psalm, sing from 
the hymn book, and pray for me as I knelt by her bed. 
Many times she told the Lord she knew she couldn't 
be here much longer , and she pled with Him to make my 
life a blessing. I still remember those prayers; they 
have followed me all my life. 

There were other times, I remember, when my 
father would take me on his lap and read to me about 
Lazarus and the rich man, the prodigal son, and other 
Bible people. I never tired of hearing those stories, 
and they made a lasting impression on me. Somehow, 
though I wandered far away from God, I never got away 

from these early religious experiences; the seed was 
sown and would bear fruit. 

During the summer our small farm was a busy place 
out-of-doors. It would take us a week to work our crop 
in the summer, and we did this every other week. The 
week in between, I hoed corn for a neighbor at 25£ a day, 
$1.50 per week. With this meager sum I bought my 

Such time as we had to ourselves in the summertime 
was taken up with hunting and fishing during the week, 
and the swimming hole on Sunday afternoon. 

My first school was quite a bit different from the 
schools now. We learned the alphabet which was pasted 
on a piece of cardboard, and our only book was "Web- 
ster's Blue Back Spelling Book." This was, in fact, 
our only book for two or three years! Our next book was 
Holmes' First Reader, and the others followed —the 
second, third, and fourth readers. We also studied 
arithmetic . 

When I was about ten years old we had spelling 
classes every day, and spelling bees. For these we 
would stand in two lines, and when we could outspell 
our opponent he had to sit down, and the last one stand- 
ing got a mark. At the end of each school year the 
teacher gave a prize to the child who had the most 
marks. One year I won the prize, and I still remember 
it — it was a book, "North Carolina Stories," about ten 
in all. There were stories of Sir Walter Raleigh, Blue- 
beard, and others, and I read them over and over. 

Learning was not accomplished in any comfort. Our 
schoolhouses were log cabins with fireplaces, and our 
seats were benches with no back rests. However, the 
term was not nearly as long as now. We went to school 
for two months and then had six weeks of vacation to 
pull fodder, pick peas, and harvest the crop. Then we 
went back for another two months of school — the school 
year was four months long. 

Although I was counted a good student, I quit school 
at fourteen, while I was in the fourth grade. 


The Birthplace of J. C. Pipes, Darby, North Carolina 

J. C. Pipes and Father, Rufus Pipes, in Front of Later Family 
Home in Murphy, North Carolina 


During my early years in Darby, our church was a 
small one-room church. It had punch-in seats, that is 
seats hewn out of logs with holes bored in them and pegs 
which were the legs. There were no back rests. 

We had preaching once a month, and our pastors 
were old mountain preachers — I could still name 
several of them. Some of them lived as much as thirty- 
five miles away. They often walked to our church, 
preached one or two hours, and received one dollar in 

At the preaching service, when prayer time came 
some of the old lay preachers would lead in prayer, and 
they always took at least thirty minutes. We all got 
down on our knees for the prayers. I can remember 
peeping at the man leading prayer to see if he looked 
as if he might ever quit, and if he didn't look like it, 
I would slip up, sit down quietly, and go to sleep. After 
the prayer my father would sit down, pull me over on 
his knees, and I would finish my nap this way during the 

Sunday school only lasted about five months in the 
year , from the first of May through the last Sunday in 
September. The only Sunday school literature we had 
was the Bible and little Sunday school cards for the 
children with a picture on one side and the lesson on 
the other. Every Sunday morning the roll was called 
and we answered by quoting a verse of Scripture we had 
learned. Much of the Scripture I know now I memo- 
rized during my early childhood. On Sunday during the 
winter months we stayed at home or gathered in groups 
and played, except for our monthly preaching Sunday. 

All these years my father always took me every 
Sunday. He never sent me to church by myself. 

Once a year we had the annual revival in our church. 
The year I was fourteen years old, when time came for 
the meeting I had quit school and was working for a man 
who had a small grocery store. I didn't want to attend 
the revival, and my excuse was that I had to stay and 
mind the store for the owner while he went. But he was 
a splendid Christian gentleman, and interested in my 
salvation, so one day during the revival he walked out 

of the store, locked the door, and told me that it was 
either go to church or stay outside and do nothing during 

I went to the day meeting and sat through the ser- 
vices, but nothing the preacher said made any impres- 
sion on me. The minister, Rev. Isaac Miller, invited 
everyone to the mourners' bench, or altar, to seek sal- 
vation. I wasn't going until a friend who had been saved 
during the revival came and pled with me to come seek 
salvation for my soul. I went forward, fell on my knees, 
and began to plead for forgiveness. I became broken up 
emotionally, because this was the only way I knew to be 
saved. I had no theology of salvation — I had always 
been taught that if we repented and prayed God would 
forgive and save us. For an hour I stayed on my knees 
weeping and praying while many Christians tried to in- 
struct me. Finally the service closed and I was still 
unsaved, but I was under deep conviction and determined 
that I wouldn't stop seeking until I had found pardon. 

I didn't go back to the meeting that night — I forget 
why —but I did go the next day. I listened to the sermon, 
but it didn't shed any light forme. When the time came 
to go forward, I didn't have to wait for someone to come 
get me; I hastened to respond. AgainI fell on my knees, 
weeping and praying for forgiveness. 

Finally I realized that all my prayers and tears 
could never merit for me salvation. When I knew this, 
I surrendered to the will of the Heavenly Father and 
suddenly, deep in my heart and mind and whole being, 
I could — and did — say, "Thy will be done." I told 
God, "If you want to take my life this minute and send 
my soul to Hell, I gladly yield to Thy will." When this 
happened underneath came the Everlasting Arms and an 
eternal peace came into my being. I remember that the 
congregation was singing, "Wonderful Peace." A por- 
tion of this song I shall never forget: 

"Far away in the depth of my spirit today 
Rolls a melody sweeter than Psalm; 
In celestial -like strains 
It unceasingly falls over my soul 

Like an infinite calm. 

Peace, Peace, Wonderful Peace 
Coming down from the Father above, 
Sweep over my spirit forever I pray 
In wonderful billows of love." 

This actually took place in my deepest experience. 
When I arose from my knees to bear testimony it 
seemed all the world had changed. Isaiah 55:12-13 
literally became my own experience: "For ye shall go 
out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains 
and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, 
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and in- 
stead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and 
it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting 
sign that shall not be cut off." II Corinthians 5:17 had 
actually taken place with me: "Therefore if any man 
be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are 
passed away; behold, all things are become new." I 
was truly a new creature — there was a new creation. 
I joined the church and was baptized. 

I remember that they had to break the ice in the 
creek when a number of us were baptized, and my 
clothes froze on me before I got to the house where 
we dressed. I cannot say I didn't get cold, for I did. 
But it didn't make me sick. 

t t t t t 



For a few months I lived my religion. As long as I 
continued to work for this Christian groceryman I at- 
tended preaching regularly at the monthly services. We 
had no Sunday school, and therefore no opportunity for 
Christian growth and knowledge. 

After a time I went to work with a saw mill crew, 
and I lived with the men, all of them heavy drinkers of 
strong drink. For a while I stood up for my principles, 
but finally I succumbed to the temptation and joined them 
in evil ways. For the next five years my life was one of 
sin and shame. 

Ever since that time I have suffered untold sorrow 
as a result of those years; I know that God for Christ's 
sake has forgiven and forgotten, but I cannot. I will not 
try to describe those years — suffice it to say that I 
joined with the crowd in almost every kind of sin. Some- 
times there would come a pang of loneliness for God's 
forgiveness, but I would buy a pint of whiskey and drown 
such thoughts in drink. 

I was nineteen years old when my father wrote me to 
come home. He had sold the farm and bought one fur- 
ther west, eight miles from Murphy, North Carolina, 
and he needed me to help him get ready to move. I went, 
and in November, 1907, we moved. We went on the train, 
which had a layover in Asheville for about five hours. 
While we were in Asheville my father and I went to a bar 
where I bought a quart of whiskey. It was in this place 
that I tasted my first and last beer; I couldn't even finish 
one glass. I turned to the whiskey bottle, took two 
drinks, and then a thought occurred to me. 

I realized that I was moving away from the old gang 
with their evil habits forever, and if I was ever to break 
away from such a way of life, the time was now. I knew 
if I kept on drinking it would ruin me forever, so I handed 
that quart of whiskey to my father, who was a dram 
drinker, and that was the end of my drinking. 

After we were settled in our new home I went to work 
for a Christian man, driving a team of mules on his 
farm. I still had one terrible habit, cursing. One 


Saturday evening while I was working I decided to quit. 
I got through Sunday without cursing, but Monday morn- 
ing I got mad at one of the mules and started out with an 
oath. I cut it in two, and that was the end of my cursing. 
It wasn't easy to do, and many times I was tempted, but 
I never broke over. 

But still I hadn't returned to God. Often when I got 
in a rough crowd, the tempter would nudge me to go 
ahead and drink and curse like the rest, but I never did. 
I was leading a better life, but I was still no closer to 
God than before. 

That summer of 1908, while I was home helping with 
the crops, a book agent came by selling religious books. 
I bought one; I've long since forgotten the title, but I was 
not halfway through the book when I was baptized in hell 
fire with conviction. My sins in all their blackness 
rolled on my soul; in my mind, I felt I was doomed by a 
righteous God and there was no hope. 

For the next six years I prayed in every row of corn 
that I worked. I begged my mother and father to pray 
for me. Once in a while a little ray of light would break 
through and I would find rest, but then the gloom would 
come again. 

One day I was clearing an eight -acre field that had 
been left untended for about fifteen years —the landlord 
who rented me land had given it to me for a year for 
clearing it. I remember that I was grubbing persimmon 
trees, praying hard all the time, when suddenly the light 
broke. With my mind's eye I saw the Cross, and I and 
all mankind with me were crucified in Jesus. I was 
dead, buried in Him, and my sinful life no longer existed 
in the mind of God, because I had literally died in Him 
and been raised to a new life. As the old man I had 
dishonored my Lord and Saviour, but He had never for- 
saken me. I was His and He was mind. I knew beyond 
a doubt that "there is therefore now no condemnation 
to them which are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1a) I 
realized that the only damning sin was the sin of un- 
belief: "He that believeth on Him is not condemned: 
but he that believeth not is condemned already, because 
he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten 


Son of God." (John 3:18) 

I threw down my mattock, went to the bank of a little 
creek nearby, and sat there all evening praising God 
and shouting in my very soul. I was free in Jesus! I 
had been freed from my sins and cleansed of all sin! 
I suppose this was really my first call to preach. Some- 
body had to tell this Good News. I knew it; why not I? 




It was a lot more complicated than just making up 
my mind to surrender to God's call to preach, however; 
there were many obstacles to overcome. First of all, 
I was illiterate. I had quit school when I was in the 
fourth grade, and now I had no money to go back and 
begin again. Further, I already had a family, a wife 
and two children. I knew full well that preachers with 
my meager education and lack of experience seldom 
received a livelihood from their ministry. Many times 
I had seen preachers' wives hoeing corn for a peck of 
corn or a few pounds of fat meat to feed their children 
while their husbands were away holding meetings for 
which they were paid scarcely anything. I loved my 
family, and I determined not to let them suffer like that. 

The way seemed dark indeed. In fact, I was ashamed 
to tell anyone that God had called as ignorant a man as I. 
However, there was one glimmer of light — the county 
had voted bonds and built a four -teacher schoolhouse in 
my community. In conversation with the principal of 
that school one day, he told me that when he was twenty- 
one years old he didn't even know the letters, and that 
in one school he learned enough to teach school himself. 

If he could do it, so could I. Twenty-three at the 
time, I began to make plans to attend school, supposedly 
to teach. Later I wouldtell people God had called me to 
preach the Gospel. 

I rented a three -room log cabin near the school for 
my family, gathered my crop, and took the janitor's job 
in the school to pay for my tuition. That first term 
lasted five months, and for those five months I averaged 
getting to bed atthree o'clock in the morning. On Satur- 
days I chopped wood all day and sat up all night studying 
by a log fire. 

By the time summer came, thanks to a gracious 
County Superintendent, I had made a second grade certi- 
ficate and was given a job teaching a five months' school 
for which I received $25.00 a month. I had made a crop 
that summer also, and I gathered my crop after school 
and on Saturdays. School was over by Christmas, and 


needing more education, I entered a little Baptist school 
at Murphy for the spring session. Again when summer 
came I made a crop, and again I taught another five- 
month session, this time receiving $35.00 a month. 

After my third spring session at the school in 
Murphy, I made a first grade certificate. The fourth 
year I moved to Aquone in Macon County, North Caro- 
lina, and taught school for $50.00 a month. I had just 
received my first month's check and cashed it, and was 
hurrying home to order my wife a dress from the Sears, 
Roebuck catalog. When I arrived I found her dead in the 
floor, our little three -year -old daughter Beulah trying to 
waken her. 

This was on a Thursday. I buried her on Saturday. 

I still hadn't made it public that I had been called to 
preach, but one month later, in October, 1915, I was 
ordained to the ministry by the Nantahala Church at 
Aquone . 

The Sunday after my ordination I became supply 
pastor at Red Marble Church, where I preached until 
the fall of 1916. That autumn I registered as a student 
in Mars Hill College. 




When I left for Mars Hill College in 1916, I left my 
two children, Beulah and Lewis, with my father. In 
July, 1917, I married Nora Buckner Fagan, a widow with 
two children of her own, Coy, age three, and Clifford, 
five years of age. She owned a four -room cottage and 
three acres of land, and after our marriage I brought 
my own two children to their new home. We now were 
a family of six. 

During the four years at Mars Hill three more 
children were born to us: Lena, June, and William 


■*- * * 

I had been in college for about three months when a 
ministerial student who was pastor of Flag Pond Baptist 
Church in Tennessee came and asked me to supply for 
him one Sunday while he preached a trial sermon. I 
did so, and the church told me that if he were called to 
the other church, they wanted me to fill out the year 
until June, 1917. 

He did take the other church, and I had my first 
pastorate. I went once a month, eighteen miles from 
Mars Hill across two big mountains, on a hired horse. 
The church paid me S2.50 a trip, and I paid $2.00 for 
the horse. This left me fifty cents a trip for my preach- 
ing; during the nine months I never missed a Sunday. 

As June approached, I decided that if they wanted to 
call me for the following year I would hold a revival 
meeting, they would get religion, and then they would 
do better. I did hold the meeting, and on Sunday morn- 
ing after the meeting I baptized thirty fine young people. 

The baptismal service over, I went to the treasurer's 
home nearby, changed clothes, and came back to preach. 
When I got to the church, the treasurer was standing on 
the steps; when he saw me, he hollered, "I got it! I got 

"Got what?" I asked. 

"I got a dollar a head for each one you baptized. 
That's what we always pay." 

That morning they called me unanimously for an- 


other year, and they asked me what I would come for. 
I thought that they had gotten religion and this would 
solve the financial problem; also, 1 grew up in a church 
that didn't believe in a set salary for preachers. So I 
told them that I would come for whatever they gave me as 
long as I could. Matters were left that way. 

The next time I came back,, they gave me $2.50 after 
the worship service. 1 took it and said nothing. When 
I got home 1 paid $2.00 for the horse, took my wife the 
50c , and told her that was a month's groceries. Again 
I said nothing, but the next time I started out I told my 
wife that this was to be my last trip to Flag Pond. To 
her question as to whether 1 planned to quit preaching, I 
told her "No, but I'm not going to preach any more to 
that stingy bunch. I can make 84.50 working here on 
Saturdays and not have to pay for a horse out of it." 

That Saturday I went ahead and preached at the 
morning service. When I had finished I asked the 
chairman of the board of deacons to preside, and I 
stood up and resigned. He then asked me, "We just 
called you a month ago. What's wrong?" 

I said, "Brother, you don't need a preacher ; you need 
a horse. You pay that horse $2.00 a trip, and you pay me 

He asked, "What will you come for?" 

"I will come for $8.33 1/3 a trip, which is $100.00 a 

"Well," he replied. "Give me until tomorrow to 
see what I can do." 

"Very well," I answered. 

He owned a large country store and that evening he 
made a canvass of the members who came to the store, 
and most of them came. 

rhey never paid me less than $12.00 atrip after that, 
and before the year was out the church went half time. 
The year before the church had paid a total of $150.00 
for pastor's salary and all other expenses. That year 
they gave a total of $1,500.00, and in addition bought a 
new piano and gave $500.00 to Carson Newman College. 

Today that church is a full time church, with a 
pastor living on the field. And all of this because a 


preacher was converted and the Lord through him con- 
verted the church! 

Up until that time I had had a belief that it a minis- 
ter opened his mouth, the Lord would fill it. I tried this 
once; I have never tried it since. The Lord and I work- 
ing together were poor enough preaching. 

* * * 

After I had been in college for about a year, Dr. 
Walter N. Johnson, North Carolina Convention secre- 
tary, organized what he called "Mobile Schools." Be- 
cause there was one in nearby Waynesville, Dr. R. L. 
Moore, President of Mars Hill College, said to me, 
"I'm going to excuse you from school this week and let 
you go to this school. I believe it will do you more good 
than a week here." 

Needless to say, I went. The director was J. A. 
McCoin; Dr. Hersey Davis' father preached; Dr. Walter 
E. Wilson taught "Stewardship and Missions" by Cook; 
and Rev. Kirk, father of one of our missionaries, taught 
"How the Death of Jesus Saves Us." 

In the mission book was a chapter on tithing, and 
for the first time I became convinced that 10£ of every 
dollar that came into my possession was not mine, 
but God's. 

When I got home I called my wife and we sat down 
before the fire. I told her what I had learned about 
tithing, and I shall never forget what she said: "If 10£ 
of a dollar does not belong to us, we will pay it. We 
will not steal from God." 

At that time my total income was $150.00 a year. 
I had four children, and was going to college. Three 
years later I graduated from Mars Hill, and I only owed 
the college about $50.00. Many times I thought I would 
have to quit and go to work full time, but Dr. Moore 
would tell me to stay until the last meal was gone and 
then come to him. The meal in the barrel never failed 
and the cow never went dry. The Eternal God never 
forsook me. I had learned what Abraham meant when 
he said "Jehovah Jireh." The Lord will provide. 


When I had been in Mars Hill about two years, my 
home church wrote and asked me to come hold a revi- 
val for them. I was rather stuck on myself, and I 
thought: "Yes, I'll go show them how a college man 
can preach." My father had not wanted me to go to 
Mars Hill — he felt that if the Lord wanted me to 
preach He would fill my mouth with His message. 
Many of the older folks agreed with him, but in spite 
of this I had felt that I must make preparation to re- 
present the Lord the best I could. And so it was doubly 
important for me to make a good impression in that 
small country church. 

I arrived for the Sunday evening service to preach 
to a packed house, including my father. That night my 
mind closed and I hollered, sweated, and hollered some 
more. I made such a mess my father was ashamed of 
me, and I wished desperately that the floor would open 
and swallow me up. 

As we were on our way home somebody said, "I 
wonder what was wrong with the service tonight?" 

Nobody said anything until a half-wit in the crowd 
spoke up. "It was all thunder and no rain or lightning." 
He had correctly defined the message. 

We had two more services, each about like the 
first one. By Wednesday I went through the service 
almost sweating blood, and that night I decided I would 
go to the church Thursday morning and confess that I 
just couldn't preach, catch the train, and go home. 

Each morning I had been going to the woods to pray, 
and I thought I would do this once more my last morn- 
ing. I went, and got on my knees, but my prayer seem- 
ingly didn't get any higher than my head. Discouraged, 
I got up, started back down the hollow, and sat down on 
a large flat rock. At once God spoke to me. He said, 
"Have faith in God." I then took my little New Testa- 
ment from my pocket, turned to the eleventh chapter of 
Mark, and read that portion of Scripture. I got up, 
went to the church, and preached on "Have faith in 
God" and through the rest of the week the heart of the 
message was "Have faith in God." 

Sunday morning forty -eight people joined the church 


by profession of faith. God had to humble a preacher 
and teach him that "not by might, nor by power, but by 
my spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts.' 1 (Zech. 4:6) 

-k -k -k 

In 1918 I was elected associational missionary for 
the French Broad Association on a half time basis, for 
which I was to receive $150.00 a year plus whatever 
the churches and mission points gave. I had seven 
preaching points that I had to make at least once each 
month, and I was still pastor at Flag Pond Church half 
time. During one summer's vacation I went into this 
mission area and spent only three nights at home during 
the entire three months ! I held meetings in logging 
camps, school houses, and small churches. Shuford 
Jenkins, a Mars Hill ministerial student, stayed with me 
all summer. 

I had one small church where I preached once a month 
on Saturday. One member and his wife had a family of 
thirteen children — I always knew I would have a con- 
gregation for Brother Laws and his family always came! 

One Sunday after preaching he came to me and said, 
"Preacher, I like you. I want you to spend the night 
with me the next time you come to preach." 

I told him I would, and when the time came he was 
there with all his children. After the service I filled 
my Ford with children — the parents insisted on walk- 
ing. I drove about half a mile on the highway until one 
of the boys directed me up a hollow. I drove as far as 
I could this way and finally the boy said, "Park here. 
We'll have to walk the rest of the way." 

The home was a log cabin with a large fireplace and 
only two beds that I could see, though there was a shed- 
like side room. 

After a good supper we sat down before a roaring 
fire to talk and enjoy each other's company, but I kept 
worrying about where we were all going to sleep. As 
the evening wore on I became increasingly concerned 
about the sleeping problem. There were five girls be- 
tween the ages of 14 and 18. Finally the father said, 
"Boys, get your shoes off. 'Bout bedtime." 

The boys began to pull off their shoes and pitch them 


over their shoulders into the corner of the room. Then 
the father said, "Preacher, get your Bible. Head and 
pray and we'll go to bed." And I did. 

Then one of the boys went back to a bed, pulled a 
ladder out from under it, set it up against the wall, 
pushed up a trap door into the loft, and went through. 
One by one they went until all the boys were gone. Then 
the father said, "Preacher, there's another good bed 
up there. Go find it!" This I did, and I slept that night 
in a spot where I could lie down and touch the roof with 
my hand. 

Some weeks later I held a revival there and baptized 
about eight of the children of this family. 

But the story doesn't end there. Several years later 
I was holding a revival meeting in Woodruff, South 
Carolina, and a man searched me out with a request. 
He said that there was a little woman on a back street 
of that town dying with tuberculosis, and she wanted to 
see me. Of course I went to the home, and there on a 
bed was a small, pale-faced woman in the last stages 
of the disease. It was one of the girls I had baptized 
from that home. 

She said, "Preacher, when you spent the night with 
us and slept in the loft, I knew you were a Jesus man, 
and I gave my heart to him. I'm going to be with Him 
in a few days, and I will tell Him all about it." 

I thanked God, and still thank Him, that I slept in a 
loft and thereby revealed Him who had no place to lay 
His head. This story has not ended — it will never end 

throughout all eternity. 

* * * 

In 1919 Rev. Shuford Jenkins, the aforementioned 
friend of mine at Mars Hill, came to me with a letter 
from the Hot Springs Church. They wanted him to hold 
a revival for them himself or, if he was unable, to send 
someone in his place. He asked me to go for him and 
since it was during summer vacation I agreed to go. 

I went on Sunday, and at the first service there were 
thirty -five people present. I announced a service for 
Monday morning at 10:00 o'clock, and when I got there 
only one other person came, an old Baptist preacher. 


We prayed together and I said to him, "They aren't 
coming, so I must go out and find them. I'll look around 
today and go visit them tomorrow." *. 

That day I spent looking over the community, and 
then I told the old preacher where I had decided to go 
the next morning — across the river where the homes 
were nothing but shacks. He said, "My, my preacher, 
that's the hell hole of Hot Springs. All they do is make 
and sell whiskey and all other kinds of wickedness." 

"Then that's where they need God," I said. 

So the next morning I got up, dressed, ate breakfast, 
and started out. When I crossed the river and looked up 
at those shanties, my heart almost failed. I breathed a 
prayer for courage and went up the highway above all the 
houses and came down on a creek above the settlement, 
all the time praying for courage to go into a home. 

I saw a man on the porch of one of the houses with 
his knee tied up and his leg lying up in a chair, and I 
said to myself, "There's a crippled one. I can run and 
get away from him!" So I went over and spoke to him 
and told him that I was holding a meeting at the church, 
and wanted him to come. 

"I ain't coming," he said with a glint in his eye. 
"I'm as mean as hell, but I ain't going to join that bunch 
of hypocrites over there!" 

About that time his wife came to the door, and I told 
her what I had told her husband, and she said she hadn't 
been in church for ten years and wasn't about to begin 
now . 

When I asked them if I might have prayer with them, 
the man said, "Pray if you want to. I don't guess it'll 
hurt us." It was a poor prayer, I thought, and I got up 
off my knees and left. 

That was about all I could take that day. I prayed all 
afternoon, asking God to tell me what He wanted me to 
do. The impression was strong to go back to that same 
house; "I sent you there," I felt God was telling me. 

So the next morning I went back. I didn't see the 
man until some time later, but the lady was more 
friendly. She told me that her father was an old Bap- 
tist preacher, and she got a book to show me the 


churches where he had been pastor. I read the names 
and discovered that the churches were in Cherokee 
County where I had lived before I came to Mars Hill. 
I asked her what she knew about the churches, and she 
said they had lived in the very same community where 
I had lived. 

Then she asked me if I knew a girl named Bessie 
Gregory in that same county — she had been her best 
friend and they had gone to school together. I said, 
"Bessie Gregory is my dead wife, and if God took her 
to heaven so I could come to Hot Springs and win her 
old friend, there must have been joy in the presence 
of the angels when she went home." 

She said, "Preacher, pray for me," as she slipped 
out of her chair onto her knees. After I had prayed, she 
said, "I will be at church tonight." She came, and on the 
second night she came and surrendered to the Lord. 
She went back into that "hell hole" and led twenty -eight 
people to Christ, and I baptized them. 

But this was not the end. I had two Sunday nights in 
the month free and the Hot Springs Church asked me to 
supply for them on these nights because they had no 
pastor, and I agreed to do so. A month later I went to 
Hot Springs on the train to preach for the Sunday night 
service, and when I got off the train a man approached 
me with a large bundle wrapped in paper. 

"Preacher, do you know me?" he asked. 

"I'm afraid I don't," I had to admit. 

"I'm Mack Plemmons," he stated, "the man with 
the crippled leg. You came and invited me to church. 
I haven't seen you again until right now, because every 
time I saw you coming I'd slip out and hide until you 
were gone. I got away from you, but I couldn't get 
away from that prayer you prayed that day on my porch. 
The day you were baptizing all those people, I got on my 
knees in my house and the Lord gloriously saved me. As 
you can see, I've brought my clothes. I want you to go to 
the river with me and baptize me." 

I said, "Mack, I can't do it. I must be authorized by 
the church." 

"Yes, you can," he declared, "and afterward I will 


go with you to the church and they'll receive me." 

I went with him, changed my clothes for the ones 

he had brought for me, and baptized him in the French 

Broad River. The church did honor the baptism and 

accepted him into full fellowship. 

This couple has long since gone to be with the Lord, 

but I still think of the incident as one like Phillip and 

the eunuch — I baptized Mack Plemmons before he had 

been accepted by the church. 




In 1923 I went to Spartanburg, South Carolina, to hold 
a revival . The meeting began on Sunday night, and all 
week we had large crowds. 

On Wednesday night the pastor of this church and I 
were invited by a fellow county pastor to spend the night 
with him. That evening as we visited together, talking 
about the meeting, this pastor said, "Brother Pipes, I 
like your preaching, the people like it, and they will 
continue to come and hear you. But you will have no 
results. I've been here for years, I've been to every 
meeting, and the preachers have been good, but no re- 
sults have ever come and they'll not come this time." 

Of course I was discouraged, but suddenly God spoke 
to me in the words of Jesus: "Where two or three are 
gathered together in my name , there am I in the midst of 
them . . . and all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in 
prayer, believing, ye shall receive." 

Never before had I had those two passages speak to 
me with the conviction with which they spoke that night. 
I stopped the conversation, quoted the words to them, 
and asked, "Will you get on your knees with me here 
and now and claim this promise from our Lord? We 
will not get up until He has answered it." 

They agreed, and we began the circle of prayer. I 
was supposed to close the prayer, but my turn never 
came. Suddenly the pastor whom we were visiting 
sprang to his feet, crying out: "O, God! Watch them 
come to the Lord! Multitudes are being saved — I've 
never seen such a revival!" All during the night he 
would wake me crying out, "Watch them come! 
Praise the Lord!" 

During the next ten days almost two hundred people 
made professions of faith and joined the churches — over 
a hundred in the church where I was holding the revival , 
and the rest in the Methodist Church. 

In all my experience I have never worked so 
hard. Several times I was called from my bed in the 
middle of the night to go and pray with people under 
conviction as they came to the Lord and were saved. 


Surely this was God at work in the Holy Spirit, con- 
victing, converting, and saving His people. 

* * * 

The Northside Baptist Church in Woodruff, South 
Carolina, called me as pastor in 1926, and I accepted 
the call. After I had been there about six months, an 
epidemic of influenza broke out, and I got it. Unable 
to overcome the illness, I got weaker and weaker until 
I had to be admitted to Mary Black Hospital in Spartan- 
burg. After about two weeks in that hospital, I entered 
a period of delusion in which I existed for about four 
weeks. During that time, it was as if all the lights in 
the world had gone out for me — I saw the end of the 
world and all the horrors that attended it. I lived 
through Job's experience; I explored the inner world 
as recorded by A. T. Boison in his book, "Exploration 
of the Inner World;" I was the "Ancient Mariner" and 
lived his torment. During my illness I had been moved 
to Broad Oak Sanitorium in Morganton, North Carolina, 
but I knew nothing of the transfer. 

Of all the experiences I had during those black days, 
one stands out as by far the most terrible. I hesitate to 
tell it, for fear it might be misunderstood, but it has a 
deep spiritual truth in it that I must share. First of all 
let me say that as for my wife Nora, who was the subject 
of this horrible delusion, no more virtuous woman ever 

In my delirium, I thought I actually died and went to 
a literal hell of fire and brimstone. For days I was 
engulfed in a deep, bottomless pit with flames lapping 
around me. In my Imagination my wife whom I dearly 
loved had become the most lewd woman in the world, 
and one day she appeared on the brink of that pit with 
one of her lovers and looked down at me. They seemed 
to curse me with bitter oaths, and they laughed and 
taunted me in my sufferings. 

My first reaction was one of bitter hatred, and I 
despised them with all the power of my soul. But my 
next feeling was one of pity , and I found myself praying 
for them. I begged God to lay on me all their sins and 
let me suffer in their stead, and as I prayed I found 


myself saying these words: "Lay on me the sins of all 
the world and pour on me all His wrath." Somehow as I 
said this, hell, was suddenly transformed into heaven, 
and hell became the gateway to glory with all its joys; 
hell was annihilated by prayer and God was glorified, 
even in hell itself. 

This was my experience in hell. 

* * * 

Altogether I spent about thirteen weeks in these two 
hospitals. When I came out, my theological house had 
crashed around me — I didn't know what to believe. If 
I were ever to preach again, a more substantial basis 
for my ministry would have to be built. 

I moved back to Asheville with my family, and for 
four months worked in a furniture factory, until the 
plant closed. I then obtained a job with the x\sheville 
Times selling mail subscriptions in the nineteen counties 
of western North Carolina. The salary was a good one 
for those days: $35.00 aweek,5£a mile for car travel, 
and $10.00 a week bonus to the one of five salesmen 
who sold more papers than the others. I won half of all 
the bonuses. 

All of this time I was trying to reconstruct rny theolo- 
gical foundation. I had never lost faith in God as re- 
vealed in Jesus Christ, and on this basic fact, I knew 
that my place was in the ministry while I ironed out my 
other spiritual problems. I accepted the call to become 
pastor of the Riverside Baptist Church in Asheville, a 
position I held for nine years. 

During my early ministry and continued soul- 
searching as pastor of Riverside, Dr. Walter N. 
Johnson, Dr. W. M. Poteat, Sr., and J. R. Mosley or- 
ganized what Dr . Johnson called a "retreat" at Mars 
Hill. I had known Dr. Johnson for several years and 
had confidence in him, and I began attending the re- 
treats — they were held for twelve years, during which 
time I missed two sessions. 

The Retreats were held every year for two weeks, 
with sessions five days a week from 9:00 A.M. until 
1:00 P.M. Dr. Johnson taught one hour on stewardship 
and missions, Dr. Poteat opened the New Testament, and 


Mr. Mosley spoke on living present experience with 
Jesus. One hour was given to an experience meeting led 
by one of the group attending these meetings. 

These experiences revolutionized my entire life and 
point of view. In previous interpretation I had been an 
extreme literalist who didn't believe God was seeking 
to save the world now, only that He was calling out the 
called. I had charts of the ages, and I believed that the 
Lord would come and set up His Kingdom here on earth 
and then He would save the world. I hadn't believed that 
the Kingdom was present and available to all men — I 
had thought the King was absent, and there could be no 
Kingdom with an absent King. As a result, I had been 
extremely narrow-minded and pharisaaical, my minis- 
try had been partially paralyzed, and I had not seen the 
importance of mission work. In my opinion, when God 
was ready to save the world He would do it. Somehow, in 
spite of all this, my ministry had been blessed. 

But now things began to change. Dr. Johnson gave 
me a vision of stewardship and missions that I had never 
had before. Dr. Poteat made the New Testament a living, 
vital, present message. Mr. Mosley revealed Jesus 
alive, experiential, and available to every life. I became 
a new man with a new vision of the New Testament, a 
new vision of stewardship and missions, and most of all 
a new vision of Jesus available to me now. I had a new 
message, with power to preach it. I had indeed rebuilt 
my theological house — this time on the Solid Rock. 

One year at the Retreat, Dr. Johnson said to me, 
"Pipes, tomorrow at the experience period you bring 
us a fresh experience with the Lord if you have to stay 
up all night to get it. If you don't get it be honest enough 
to tell us. We don't want an old dry sermon outline!" 

I went home and prayed all afternoon trying to get a 
fresh experience with the Lord. By night I was no nearer 
than when I had started. I went to bed determined to 
spend the night in prayer, but at three in the morning I 
was no nearer than I had been. I thought, "I can be 
honest and tell them I don't have a fresh experience 
with the Lord," and I went to sleep. 


Early the next morning I built a fire in the cook 
stove, woke my wife, and while she got breakfast I got 
my cow feed and drove about a mile to milk my cow. 
It was raining and I had to hunt her in the pasture, so 
of course I was all wet when I poured the feed in the 
feed box and sat down to milk her. 

Suddenly I realized that I was having a fresh experi- 
ence with the Lord. He had never given me that parti- 
cular milk before. When I realized that, the old cow 
caught afire and was not burned — it was not a burning 
bush but a burning cow. God had been trying to reveal 
Himself and I was too blind to see it! When I got in my 
car and stepped on the starter , God spoke again in the 
words of the Bible, "Power, power, all power belongeth 
to God." I rode home and then to Mars Hill with my 
fresh experience and a new sense of the power of God. 
I became aware that every breath I drew was a fresh 
experience with the Lord. It was Mrs. Elizabeth Bar- 
rett Browning who said: 

"Earth's crammed full of Heaven, and every 

bush afire with God, 
But only those of us who see it take off our shoes; 

the others 
Sit around and pluck blackberries." 

After I had been at Riverside two years, we planned 
a revival. I was deeply concerned about the lost people 
of our Sunday school and church, and I wanted to see 
them saved. I planned the meeting and prayed that God 
would give us a glorious revival with many people won 
to Him. 

The time came, the evangelist arrived, and we 
started our services on Sunday morning. Things were 
going well until Wednesday evening; that night, the 
message was a complete failure, from a human point of 
view. In fact, some of the deacons came to me and 
said, "Pastor, why did you get that man? We can't 
have a revival with that kind of preaching." 

I spent a sleepless night, and at breakfast the next 


morning I told my wife I was going somewhere and to 
tell the visiting minister that I would see him at 
suppertime. Then I went to the church, let myself in 
with my key, and locked the door behind me. Making 
my way to a back Sunday school room, I opened my 
little New Testament to the first chapter of Acts, knelt 
between the seats, and for two hours read the first 
four chapters of Acts until my very soul was saturated 
with them. 

After reading these words over and over, I thought 
I could pray, and I began to do so. I hadn't prayed three 
minutes until Acts 4:30 became a living experience: 
"When they had prayed the place where they were as- 
sembled was shaken and they were all filled with the 
Holy Ghost." That stone church house didn't move 
physically, but to me the whole building was shaking, 
and I was filled with the Holy Spirit. (I write this in 
deep humility; to God be the glory and honor.) I got up 
off my knees knowing that God had spoken to me and 
that all the devils in hell couldn't hinder a great revi- 
val in that church. Somehow I didn't want to go home, 
and when I remembered a man near Mars Hill whose 
wife was dying with tuberculosis, I decided to visit him; 
once he ha.d prayed all night for me while I was in the 

When I got there I found him in the field working. 
Together we went into his home and had prayer with 
his wife, and when I left she was praising the Lord. 
On my way back home if a patrolman had seen me he 
might have arrested me for being drunk — and so I was. 
I was drunk on the Spirit of God. 

That night there were seven professions of faith. For 
the next ten days God poured out his spirit on the evan- 
gelist and the church, and we experienced one of the 
greatest revivals and ingatherings in the history of that 



Riverside Baptist Church, Asheville, North Carolina which J. C. 
Pipes pastored for nine years before beginning his state Con- 
vention work. ... ™„„„„„,„„„™ 

'. Illl 1 11111 ^ ; 


J. C. Pipes first picture with the Convention 



My work with the Baptist State Convention of North 
Carolina began in quite a roundabout manner, and on a 
temporary basis. It lasted for twenty years and four 
months . 

In the month of September, 193 7, Dr. J. T. Henderson, 
executive secretary of the Brotherhood of the Southern 
Baptist Convention, had been invited to come to the west- 
ern part of North Carolina to speak on the Cooperative 
Program of Southern Baptists. Meetings had been 
planned for twenty -two places, and all arrangements 
made. Rev. James Ivey, pastor of the West Asheville 
Baptist Church, was to go with Dr. Henderson to the 
various preaching points, drive his car, and introduce 
the speaker. 

However, at the last minute James Ivey was unable 
to go, and when he asked me to take his place, I con- 
sented to do so. I thought my only obligation was to 
take Dr. Henderson around, and introduce him in the 
various meetings. 

Our first meeting was at Franklin, and when we 
arrived I Introduced the speaker for the two-hour pro- 
gram, and sat down. Dr. Henderson spoke for about 
forty minutes, and when he was finished there was still 
about an hour left before lunch, and nothing to fill in 
with. And all the meetings were scheduled for two 

After we got in my car and were on our way to the 
next engagement, Dr. Henderson said, "Young man, you 
were supposed to take part of that time. You must do 
it; I can't fill all that time!" 

I had just finished a Retreat at Mars Hill where Dr. 
E. M. Poteat, Sr., had spoken for two weeks on the 
"Conversions of Peter" using the following outline : 

(1) Conversion to salvation - John 1 

(2) Conversion to soul -winning - Mark 1 


(3) Conversion from a material to a spiritual 
view - Matthew 16 

(4) Conversion from anti-missionary to mission- 
ary - Acts 10 

While Dr. Henderson drove for the next two hours 
I digested those two weeks of lectures into a one -hour 
talk, and delivered it eighteen times in those meetings! 

Later I learned that when Dr. Henderson had gotten 
back to Raleigh he told Mr. Huggins, "If there's any 
man God can use to change the attitude of those moun- 
tain churches it's that long-nosed, red-headed fellow 
called Pipes." 

It was as a result of these meetings and others 
like them that I was employed in the field of stewardship 
for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. I 
began my work with the Convention on September 1, 1937, 
with a leave of absence for four months from Riverside 
Baptist Church, because I wasn't sure the Lord wanted 
me in Convention work. I retired December 31, 1957, 
at the age of seventy. 




As an employee of the Convention, my first project 
began November 1, 1937. I was to attend the annual 
associational meetings and from these meetings work 
out stewardship revivals in the associations. The need 
was desperate — in fourteen associations with over five 
hundred churches the gifts to all Convention objects 
(including the orphanage and the Baptist hospital) 
was less than $12,000! There were over five hundred 
other churches that gave nothing to any object of the 
Convention! Most of the churches had no program of 
finance, simply taking an offering for the pastor and 
Sunday school literature. 

So at the annual meetings in each association I 
planned dates for as many revivals as I could, in as 
many churches as I could, and with as many volunteer 
workers as I could. That first fall we worked in six 
associations with these stewardship revivals, using lay- 
men and women who would volunteer to work with us. 

In each revival, we used a small pamphlet Mr. 
Huggins had written on stewardship and the Baptist 
program, and we studied Baptist beliefs, stewardship 
in the Bible, missions, and how and why to tithe. Our 
main object was to lead churches to set goals for mis- 
sions through the Cooperative Program and to build 
budgets that included the whole church program. 

For each revival, I would meet my group of workers 
in the afternoon, teach them a chapter of Huggins' little 
book, and try to inspire them to go out and sell mis- 
sions to the churches. Every afternoon we would report 
on the evening before. Some reports would be encourag- 
ing, while others would not. 

Each worker carried copies of Huggins' booklet, 
which we sold for five cents apiece — this way we left 
them with something permanent. Years later I found 
people who would refer to this pamphlet, or quote from 

My work went on this way for several years, and 
while some churches would not let us in, each year we 


were able to enlist more and more churches. It seem- 
ingly never failed that churches with a Woman's Mis- 
sionary Union were the most receptive, and I still en- 
thusiastically say, "Bless those women who were such 
a help to us in the Master's work." 

* * * 

During this same time, Mr. Huggins worked out what 
we called preliminary associational meetings. At these 
meetings we would present to the various churches their 
associational letter forms. Each letter had an extra 
page on which the name of the church was printed, along 
with several columns marked off. In the first column 
was the amount the church had given to missions, in the 
second the amount given to the orphanage, and the third 
column would be blank. 

Before such a meeting, I would travel to the associa- 
tion involved, and make arrangements for a free dinner 
for the leaders and deacons of the churches of that as- 
sociation, with the help of the Woman's Missionary Union 
of some church. The ladies would prepare the meal and 
bring it to the church where the meeting was being held, 
and we would pay the WMU for the meal. 

When the meeting time came, we would eat dinner, 
and then I would make a talk on our mission work. The 
church letters were then passed out to each church, and 
I would go down the line of churches and try to persuade 
them to accept a goal for both the orphanage and the 
Cooperative Program. 

These meetings were held all over the state, but I 
remember one in particular. It was in one of the most 
backward, anti-missionary associations. When I ar- 
rived there were at least a hundred and fifty people 
present, and the women had fixed a table at least a 
hundred and fifty feet long, and every inch of it loaded 
with food! 

I thought to myself, "If I have to pay for all this 
food, Mr. Huggins will fire me." 

Immediately I called the moderator aside and asked 
him how much the food would be. 

"I'll ask them, and come back and tell you," he said. 

Minutes passed, but finally he came back and asked, 


"Would $15.00 be too much?" 

Without even answering, I quickly took out my check- 
book and wrote him a check for that amount and gave it 
to him, before they could change their minds. I was glad 
to get that off my mind! 

As usual, we ate dinner first, and then went into our 
meeting. I knew that in this association with more than 
five thousand members, less than $100.00 had been sent 
to all mission causes. So I made my talk, and then pass- 
ed out the church letters and began going down the list 
asking each church to accept an amount for a goal. 

I went through the whole list and never got one single 
goal accepted. Disgusted as I was, I knew I must never 
get angry and "skin them, out," so I kept my temper and 
my tongue. 

Finally, though, I had to say something, and so I told 
them the following story: 

A church down in Georgia had raised $4.50 for mis- 
sions one year, and at the end of the year it was still in 
the church treasury. Finally at a business meeting the 
question came up of where to send that money. Church 
members argued back and forth for an hour, until finally 
a deacon arose and made a motion that that little old 
$4.50 wasn't worth all the time lost in arguing; a whole 
hour of good preaching time had been spent, and so he 
moved that they take the money, buy washpans, join the 
Hardshells and go to washing feet! 

And so at the end of the story, I told that group that 
that little old $100.00 they had given through the Con- 
vention last year wasn't worth all the trouble we had 
gone to — in fact, it wouldn't much more than pay for 
the expense of that meeting! So I suggested that we take 
$100.00 , buy washpans, join the Hardshell churches in 
that section, and go to washing feet. 

They saw the ridiculousness of the situation and 
laughed at themselves. I dismissed the meeting on that 
note, and we left. But the next year we went back with 
the same type of meeting, and three -fourths of the 
churches accepted goals! 


After that second meeting I drove about twenty miles 
to spend the night with a pastor friend in another as- 
sociation, and I told him I felt like I had sweat blood. He 
said he understood. That wasn't the only time I felt that 
way — many times the work was so discouraging that it 
took a long time to see any results. 

I remember what Mr. Huggins had said to me when I 
began my work with the Convention: "There are three 
things you'll have to have: horse sense, a warm heart, 
and a tough hide." 

In another meeting of a similar type, we had had our 
dinner and the people had assembled for our meeting. 
As always , I had told the group before I began my talk 
that if they had questions just to break in and ask them. 

During my talk that night an old deacon stopped me 
and said, "Preacher, you said to ax you any question if 
we wanted to. I want to ax you one." 

"Brother, ax on," I replied. 

"How long you been preaching?" 

I told him, "About twenty -five years." 

"Well," he said, "You ain't starved, have you?" 

I said, "No, I haven't starved, and besides, I've 
lived on my preaching." 

"Praise the Lord," he said, "I've told these 
preachers that if they would just trust the Lord, He 
would feed them if He had to send the ravens to do it!" 

I replied, "Brother, it's not the buzzards God's in- 
terested in, it's you two-winged birds called deacons. 
If the buzzards had been as disobedient to God as you 
all, the prophets would've starved long ago!" 

"You may be about right, preacher," he admitted. 

I continued with my talk, and then began to go down 
the line of churches , taking up this matter of accepting 
goals for their churches. The deacon who had inter- 
rupted was from a very small church way back at Short 
Off Mountain, and when we came to his little church he 
said, "Preacher, put my church down for $25.00, and if 
no one else pays it I will." 

Later I checked on that church, and they had sent 
that exact amount to the treasurer of the Baptist State 


Convention. I found out two things in my work with the 
Convention: If you ever got a pledge or goal they would 
always pay it, and if you loved people you could say 
what you wanted to to them and they would never resent 


* * * 

Gradually, as the months passed, a pattern began to 
develop in my work to establish a sense of stewardship 
in this part of North Carolina. Too often the pastor was 
not in sympathy with what we were doing; sometimes 
after we had worked out a program and a budget they 
would come on their particular Sunday (most churches 
had preaching only on certain Sundays of each month) 
and do away with all we had accomplished. 

It became quite obviously necessary to enlist the 
pastors in the purposes we had come to fulfill, and win 
their cooperation. When I had thought out a plan I 
went back to the Raleigh office to discuss it with Mr. 
Huggins. When I had gained his approval, I came back 
to the mountains and began to put my idea into operation. 

My idea was this: to hold association -wide pastors' 
schools. As a foundation for much of the rest of this 
book, I must spend some time describing in detail these 
schools, and what we hoped to accomplish with them. 

First of all, we knew that we would be working with 
men who , though they had not had the advantage of college 
and seminary training, were fine men and good preach- 
ers. The only problem was that many of them had very 
little vision outside of their own immediate fields. Many 
of them, according to a great old mountain preacher, 
lived in isolation with very little fellowship with their 

Therefore, we started our one -week preachers' 
schools, and the first one was held in the Tennessee 
River Association at Franklin Grove Church. During 
the week in this church we reached eight of the pastors 
of that association, and at the close of the school not 
only did that group invite us to come back, but the 
Bryson City church invited us to meet with them! Not 
only that, but one day of the school some of the preach- 
ers of the Tuckaseigee Association came to visit, and 


with our happy approval, arranged a preachers' school 
at Lovedale Baptist Church in Sylva, North Carolina. 
At this school we enjoyed a great week with eighteen 
pastors attending in addition to the teachers. 

My work had begun in earnest. Word of the revivals 
spread, and we began to hold them in places from Murphy 
to Mount Airy. They became an annual affair even in 
some of the larger churches. For instance, in the Bun- 
combe Association the First Baptist Church of Asheville 
began a school which has continued annually for twenty - 
five years, and is now known as the Leadership Revival, 
combined with the Central Training School. 

As we began work on each preachers' school, we 
would work through the Woman's Missionary Union of 
the church and ask them to agree to furnish a lunch 
for the pastors each day for five days, as well as fur- 
nish overnight accommodations for all who wanted to 
stay over night. When these details were worked out, 
I would then work out a program. I would always try 
to get a good preacher for the week, and each day he 
would bring a message. Also daily I would speak on 
stewardship and missions, and other related subjects. 

Always the pastors who had had college and seminary 
training gave unselfishly of their time to assist in these 
meetings, and gradually one of these men, Dr. J. C. 
Canipe, became a regular co-worker. The State Conven- 
tion paid his expenses and gave him a small honorarium, 
and it was a pleasure to have him. All the preachers 
loved him, and as we worked through our one -week 
preachers' school, he caught a vision of a larger school 
with greater possibilities. 

Making plans for a six-week school term, Dr. Canipe 
provided sleeping quarters in a large room in his church 
at Boone, North Carolina, and secured several double- 
decker beds. Our Convention furnished books for the 
preachers, and in the school the first year the average 
attendance was over forty. 

The following year the Convention purchased the 
Fruitland property and the Fruitland Bible Institute was 
born in 1945 under Dr. Canipe 's leadership. Supported 
by our Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, 


Fruit land has reached more than a thousand pastors 
who have not had the privilege of a formal education. 
With a registration average of one hundred and fifty 
each year, Fruitlandhas revolutionized many lives and 
churches. Truly God has done and is doing marvelous 
things ! 

* ¥ ¥ 

For our first preachers' school in one association, I 
prepared a program ofthe week, and mailed copies to all 
the pastors in the association. At the end of the week, 
one of the pastors who hadn't missed a single session 
came to me with an interesting story. He said that when 
he had received his copy of the program, and had seen 
what it was, he threw it down and stomped it into the 
ground. "I am not going to join that bunch of Conven- 
tionites and modernists," he had vowed in sincere indig- 
nation. But someone had persuaded him to come, and 
he told me, "I have really had my eyes opened; this is 
the greatest thing I've ever found!" And the following 
year we had the school in his church! 

But the story doesn't end there. He entered Fruitland 
Baptist Institute, and continued to study until he had 
finished all the courses they taught! From that time on 
he cooperated with the association and the Convention, 
and led his church to give through the Cooperative 
Program and all the objects of the Convention. 

* * * 

In this same school there was a pastor visiting from 
another association; and as we were introducing our- 
selves in the group, he said that the only man in the 
group whom he knew was Brother Pipes. 

I didn't remember ever having met him, but after 
the meeting that night he told me this story. In a 
former country pastorate I had taught the book of 
Romans on succeeding Wednesday nights, and on the 
first Wednesday night he had been present. Merely 
a teen-ager, he had nevertheless become interested 
and every Wednesday night he had walked the three 
miles from his home to the church until the study was 
completed. Out of this experience, he said, he had been 
converted and called to preach. Although he was from 


a Methodist family, he became a Baptist minister. 
Since that time he has served as pastor and associa- 
tional missionary, and is one of our most valuable 

According to the Bible, "So shall my word be that 
goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto 
me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, 
and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." 
(Isaiah 55:11) It may be that when we get to Heaven 
the things we have forgotten have been used to bring 
salvation to someone, and glory to His name. 

* * * 

Once a Baptist lady in Newland invited us to hold 
a preachers' week in her home. She had a large 
home, and a small chapel built in the basement. She 
indicated that she would be willing to entertain eighteen 
to twenty men for just the cost of the food, and so we 
planned the week. To help me, I was able to secure 
Dr. Walter N. Johnson and Friend J. R. Mosley, both 
of whom have since gone to be with the Lord. 

When the time arrived , about twenty pastors attended , 
some of whom stayed and some of whom commuted 
from nearby communities. All in all it was a wonderful 
week; Dr. Johnson spoke twice daily on stewardship, and 
Friend Mosley on Christian experience. 

As the week progressed, several times Dr. Johnson 
suggested to me that we have an experience meeting, 
and give everyone an opportunity to give their testi- 
monies. Knowing Dr. Johnson as I did, and realizing 
how he frowned upon emotionalism and shouting — and 
knowing the area better than he did — I discouraged 
this idea. 

But the very last morning of the meeting they sent 
me to the post office, and that being over a mile away, 
plus a wait for the mail to be put up, I was some time 
getting back to the meeting. Sure enough, when I got 
back they were in the midst of a testimony meeting! 
And just as surely, they had not gone on long until some- 
one began to praise the Lord in a loud voice. And we 
were off! For some time we had "shoutin' meeting" 
— and everyone joined in except Dr. Johnson. Finally 


things quieted down enough for the service to be dis- 
missed, and everybody went to their rooms. When I 
reached Dr. Johnson's room and went in for his reaction, 
he said to me, "Pipes, they pulled the whistle and blew 
out all the power and the train stopped with no steam to 
pull the mountain." 

I replied, "Dr. Johnson, I told you what would happen! 
So you don't have anyone to blame but yourself. In fact, 
I rather believe in praising the Lord myself. You know, 
David said 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is 
within me bless his holy name.' " 

Later I went to Friend Mosley's room and he was 
still shouting. He said, "Pipes, I'd like to see Johnson 
shout, but he's too big a fish to shout on this side of 
heaven. He'll shout over there." 

He continued, "You can catch a big fish with a little 
fish, but you can never catch a little fish with a big one 
— they're afraid of them!" 

As we left Newland that afternoon, all the way down 
the mountain Mosley kept saying, "Glory! Glory! 
Thank you, Lord!" 

Dr. Johnson was absolutely silent. But finally, able 
to stand it no longer, Dr. Johnson (having given a book 
to Mosley for his opinion of it) demanded, "I would like 
to know if you are talking about my book or something 

Mosley said, "No, no! I'm talking about the marvel- 
ous beauty all around us." 

It may have been beautiful to him, but everybody else 
was too tense to enjoy the ride over snow and ice- 
covered roads! 




After I had been with the Convention about two years, 
my friends began to advise me to leave that work and go 
back into the pastorate. Some even said that if I stayed 
too long with the Convention, no church would call me. 
All of this disturbed me, because above all I wanted to 
do the will of the Lord. 

And then I remembered that God had wet the fleece 
for Gideon. Believing that he could also do the same for 
me, I challenged Him to do so. I put out the fleece, and 
this is how I did it. In prayer I asked the Lord to lead 
some pastor to invite me to conduct a revival in his 
church. If He wanted me to stay in Convention work 
there would be a great spiritual revival with many 
brought into the Kingdom and the church. If, on the 
other hand, He wanted me to go back into the pastorate 
He would let the meeting dry up. 

Inside of ten days I received an invitation from a 
pastor in a nearby association for a revival, at a very 
early date. I hardly knew the pastor, but I looked at 
my engagement book and found that I had ten days free 
that I could give him. I wrote to him, and he accepted 
the date. In my mind I knew that this was my answer 
and my future work would soon be settled. 

After the meeting began on Sunday night, I preached 
twice each day, morning and night. Although the con- 
gregations grew, it was still the driest, most uneventful 
meeting I had ever conducted — the only encouraging 
thing about it was that the crowds kept coming! Each 
day I prayed asking the Lord to reveal His will for my 
life and work, and in every service there was abso- 
lutely no response to any invitation I made. Saturday 
came, and the pastor had to admit he'd never seen a 
meeting like this. He said he'd seen the congregations 
lessen and the meeting dry up, but never had he seen 
the crowds increase and the meeting still dry up! I felt 
the same way, and said so. 

Saturday morning the crowds were there — it was 
the same sort of dry meeting. Saturday night, a packed 


house, but things seemed no different. I preached a 
simple, short sermon. But I had made every kind of 
invitation I knew, and so when I had finished my sermon 
I stepped to the edge of the stand, bowed my head and 
prayed quietly, "Oh Lord, I don't know what to do or 
say." And somehow as I said it, a burden for the 
whole godless world seemed to roll over my very soul 
— I saw in my mind the Negroes in Africa crying "send 
us the Gospel — we are dying without God!" The burden 
was so great I had to hold on to the pulpit stand. Then 
I prayed one more short prayer: "Oh Lord, if there 
is anyone in this house who has the burden I have, send 
them to this altar." 

In less time than it takes to tell it, the whole church 
had gone to its knees, their faces as near to the front as 
they could get. I never before had heard as much con- 
fession of sin in all my life as I heard that night — all 
kinds of sins were confessed by leaders of the church 
as well as others. 

When this happened the people sitting in the whole 
back section of that church fell on their knees, crying 
for mercy and salvation. 

Twenty-eight people were saved in that service, and 
through Wednesday night over a hundred had made pro- 
fessions of faith! They even brought their money to me, 
saying that they had robbed God. 

I praised God, for I had my answer. For eighteen 
more years I labored with the Lord in this great 
mountain territory trying to lay on the hearts of the 
people the command of the Lord as found in the Great 
Commission: "Go ye . . . and tell all nations." 



State Missions Secretary, E. Lowell Spivey; Associate Secretary 
of Promotion, J. C. Pipes; and Secretary of Promotion, Earle 
L. Bradley. 

J. C. Pipes with his famous "tree", leading a Preachers 7 School 



As my work with the North Carolina mountain Bap- 
tists continued, I found myself increasingly concerned 
with the shocking lack of under standing of church finance, 
a church budget, and especially mission giving through 
the Cooperative Program. Time and time again we 
worked through stewardship revivals to bring to the 
people of this area of the state an understanding of the 
needs of people other than themselves. It was a difficult 
task, sometimes humorous, sometimes rewarding, and 
always worthwhile. 

I remember one experience with a church very well. 
It was during the Second World War, and this church 
needed a supply pastor. After receiving permission from 
Mr. Huggins, I began to supply for them two Sundays a 
month, on a regular basis. 

After I had been supplying for a short time , I sug- 
gested that we have a week of stewardship studies. The 
church agreed, and a time was set aside for the period 
of study. When the time came, off and on during the 
week we had several deacons' meetings before the study 
session. At one such meeting I suggested that we work 
out a church budget. They didn't know what a church 
budget was. After I had gotten a blackboard and shown 
them, they agreed to it. Thereafter we met every night 
and worked on that budget. 

According to them, the most the church had ever 
given in one year was $1,300.00 , so we worked out a 
budget of $2,000.00 . When we came to my salary, I 
left that up to them and they said that usually the pastor 
had been given sixty per cent of everything given. I re- 
fused a percentage, and then someone suggested $75.00 
a month, which I agreed to accept. I of course sent this 
money to the treasurer of the Convention, because the 
Convention was already paying my salary and I was only 
giving two Sunday mornings a month to the church, and 
there was very little pastoral work in the community. 

When we finished the budget we had put in it some- 
thing for the Cooperative Program, and something for 


every object of the Convention besides! Although the 
deacons were certain the church couldn't raise that 
much money, I said there was no harm in trying; they 
agreed to recommend it if I would explain it in the morn- 
ing worship service. That Sunday morning I spent an 
hour and a half explaining, and when the time was up 
they voted to try to do it. Thrilled over the outcome, I 
opened the doors for church membership and six adults 
came down the aisle asking that we get their letters 
from various other churches. Even more happy, I 
suggested that we sing a song and give the church an 
opportunity to come and welcome these new members. 
But when I turned to speak to them again myself, there 
were seven instead of six! I noticed the lady on the end 
of the line who had slipped forward to join the others, 
and when I asked if she wanted us to get her letter she 
said, "No, I've just been saved this morning and I want 
to accept Christ as my Saviour and be baptized!" 

It was a revival, indeed! When we finally got away 
from the church at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon the 
people acted like they would have liked to stay on even 
longer . 

However, the story does not end there. That church 
didn't raise $2,000.00 that year, after all. They raised 
over $3,000.00!! While the year before the gift to all 
mission objects had been about $300.00, this year we 
sent more than $1,300.00 — more than the whole budget 
the year before. And this did not even include the a- 
mount for my salary, which was also going to the Con- 
vention from me! 

I figured that the increase in missions over the pre- 
vious year, plus the $75.00 a month they paid me which 
went on to the Convention lacked only $300.00 of paying 
my whole salary, which at the time was $2,200.00 a year. 

When all was said and done, that church gave the 
highest percentage of all the churches in the association. 
During my two years with them they bought about three 
acres of land, started a parsonage, and when I left they 
called a pastor fulltime, built a $9,000.00 parsonage, 
and supported him well. Shortly after, the church 
house burned down. After buying more land near by 


they built an educational plant and when that was done 
they built the auditorium. 

And so we saw stewardship working. I believe any 
church by faithful teaching of Bible stewardship can be 
led to do what this church did. 

* ¥ * 

One day I received a letter from a country preacher 
with two churches and a combined salary of $300.00 a 
year. He asked me to come for a week of stewardship 
revival to see if it would help, and of course I went. It 
concerned me even more that the year before they had 
not given one penny to any object of the Convention, not 
even the orphanage. 

My sermons were on tithing, and I kept challenging 
the church to "try the Lord." There had not been a 
conversion for several years — there was nothing to 
convert to! But finally on Wednesday night a large 
number of farmers came down front and pledged to "try 
God" by tithing for one year. During the week I 
worked out a budget, putting the preacher's salary at 
$900.00 per year and something in for all mission 
causes. The total budget when it was finished amounted 
to about $1,800.00, and the church put on an every 
member canvass and underwrote it that week. I left the 
church at the end of that week happy, and later I knew 
that I had a right to be. A year afterward I had a letter 
saying that they had had a revival and baptized over a 
hundred converts — the church house, they said, would- 
n't hold the crowds, and they were knocking out the sides 
and enlarging the building. I wrote them back that this 
was exactly what the Lord had said He would do in 
Malachi 3:10: "Bring ye all the tithes into the store- 
house, that there may be meat in mine house, and 
prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I 
will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour 
you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough 
to receive it." God had literally done this for this 

Later they built a new church house costing around 
$75,000.00, and called a fulltime pastor. 


At the Biltmore Baptist Church in Asheville I held a 
stewardship study for a week. It started out badly, with 
poor weather on Monday night and only about twenty 
people present. But during the week the pastor said to 
me, "How would you deal with an atheist?" 

I said, "I wouldn't agree with him. That's how." 

"Well," he said, "there's one living next door and 
he'll be over soon for an argument. Everytime a new 
preacher comes around he does this." 

"I won't argue with him," I promised; "in fact, I'll 
be glad to meet him." 

And so the next evening he came. A college and 
seminary graduate, he had been a Methodist minister 
who had surrendered his pulpit and left the ministry. 

He had done this, he vowed, because he was too 
honest to make his living off of humbuggery. "How could 
I go on making my living this way and still be honest 
with myself?" he wanted to know. 

I said to him, "Do you know how 'lasses tastes?" 


"Well, that's how I know God." I proceeded to tell 
him that when I was fourteen years of age He came into 
my heart and had never forsaken me all through the 
years. "Join us in our studies," I invited, assuring him 
that we weren't trying to cram anything down anybody's 
throat — we were simply trying to think God's thoughts 
after Him. 

"I believe I'll join you," he said. 

The next night he came with his wife. The last night 
he came again and sat in the very same place, and never 
uttered a word; but after we had dismissed he lingered 
until only the pastor and I were left. He came to the 
front and said to me, "Preacher, I've found the Lord 
in these meetings. I'm going back into the ministry." 

He went to his bishop, telling him that he had found 
the Lord and asking for another charge . He said to him, 
"I may not have but one sermon to preach, but I'll preach 
it till I get another — and that is "I was blind, but now 
I see." 

He was assigned a charge in Alabama, and as far as 
I know is still preaching. 


Because she had heard me speak in anassociational 
meeting, the president of the Woman's Missionary 
Union of a small church persuaded her fellow members 
to invite me to their church for a week of studies in 
stewardship and missions. Later I heard that on the 
Sunday when I was to begin that evening, at the morning 
service the pastor had announced my coming, then com- 
mented, "They tell me J. C. Pipes is coming for what 
he calls a stewardship revival. Now I don't know what 
this is, but I do know Pipes; he used to be a good preach- 
er, but he's joined that bunch down in Raleigh now. 

He went on, "Pipes conducted a revival forme once 
and we had a fine meeting, but that was before he went 
with the Convention. Come and hear him — I don't 
think he'll hurt you." 

That night I began the meeting, preaching steward- 
ship and missions. During the week we worked out a 
budget, putting in the Cooperative Program and an a- 
mount for each object supported by our state Convention 
We also raised the pastor's salary $10.00 atrip. Up 
until that time the church had given nothing to missions, 
but we had a good week and the budget was adopted on 
Sunday morning. When I left I felt that I had accom- 
plished something for the Lord and His program of 
world missions. 

The next month when the pastor came back for his 
regular Sunday he preached as usual — nothing was 
said about the stewardship meeting. After the service 
the treasurer counted out his salary and gave it to him. 
The pastor took it, counted it, and counted it again. 

"Brother Treasurer, you gave me $10.00 too much, 
he said. 

"Oh," said the treasurer, "that's the result of our 
stewardship meeting. We raised your salary $10.00 a 

"Well," said the pastor, "I believe I'll get that fellow 
in my other churches!" 

Shortly after this, on the resignation of this pastor, 
the church called as pastor a youngman, went half time 
with another church near by, and moved the man and his 


family on the field. He soon led each church to become 
full time, and today both churches have a full time pastor 
living on the church field. 

But back to the lady who had started it all. As super- 
intendent of the Woman's Missionary Union in the as- 
sociation, she got in her car and drove all over the 
association contacting churches. It was through her 
efforts that I got into many of the churches with stew- 
ardship meetings, and in turn they taught me how to 
get into other churches in other associations. 

Again I say, "God bless the Woman's Missionary 
Unions. They have helped much in extending the Gospel 

to the ends of the earth." 

* * * 

One of my most interesting experiences occurred in 
a small church in a small association. 

A deacon stopped me saying, "Preacher, didn't one 
of our treasurers steal some of our Baptist money?" 

"That's true," I admitted, "A large sum belonging 
to one of our denominational boards was stolen. But it 
was almost all replaced by insurance. 

Then I told him, "We've had another steal in the 1-ast 
hundred years, also." 

He hadn't heard about this one, so I asked him, "How 
much of your money did they get ?' ' 

He grinned and said, "None of mine." 

"How much of your money did the bank in your town 

He grinned again. "It got all I had." 

So I said, "Well, what are you grunting about ? None 
of your money was stolen! You've refused to trust Bap- 
tist with your money, and yet you trusted the bank and 
they got all you had. I haven't heard you grumbling about 
the bank! 

He said, "Preacher, you got me." 

While I was working in a stewardship revival at 
the Craven Street Church in Asheville, my two sons 
asked me to go fishing with them. They were planning 
to go about 125 miles away to fish for trout, and I told 
them that if they would pick me up after I had spoken 


at the church that night, I would go. 

When we arrived it was about 3:00 o'clock in the 
morning, and so we slept in the car for awhile. Then, 
after making some coffee and eating our breakfast, we 
started off for the fishing territory-. We were going to 
have to walk three miles up a rough creek to get to 
where the fish were, and being not as young as theboys, 
I gave out. I told them to go on and catch the fish — 
that I was going back to a little home we had seen and 
ask the lady for a room and bed so I could get some sleep 
and rest. 

After they had gone on, I sat down on a log and began 
to think. This was the creek in which I had been bap- 
tized — I remembered the blueberries I had picked up 
on the hills around, and how God had found me and 
saved me by His grace. And not only had He saved me, 
but He had called me to be His co -laborer in trying to 
win the world to himself. I seemed to hear Him say, 
"Remember the rock from which you were hewn, and the 
hole of the pit from which you were digged." While I 
sat there God suddenly became overwhelmingly real to 
me, and I re -lived my conversion experience, and the 
words of Isaiah 55:12-13 sprang to my mind: "For ye 
shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the 
mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into 
singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their 
hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, 
and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: 
and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlast- 
ing sign that shall not be cut off." 

And it seemed to me that that little brook broke forth 
into singing, and those old spruce pine trees clapped 
their hands. It was the gateway to heaven. 

When I finally got up and walked back down to the 
little home, I found an aged lady and a young woman 
there, ironing. Because I had been so close to the Lord 
I had to tell them about my wonderful experience with 
Him on the mountain. But suddenly the young woman 
stopped me. 

"I wish you'd shut up. I don't believe there is a 
God," she said, "I once did, but I learned it was all a 


joke just like Santa Claus!" 

I said, "Lady, you may not believe in God, but I 
know Him and have just had a meeting with Him." 

I then went on with my story, and again she stopped 

"Preacher, I want you to hush. I have a Christian 
husband in Ohio and I'm down here visiting my mother 
and living in sin, deceiving my husband, and I'm lost! 
What can I do about it?" 

I told her to go to the woods, get on her knees, and 
confess all her sins and ask Jesus to forgive her and to 
come into her life. I quoted for her I John 1:9: "If we 
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our 
sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 

After I had slept for about three hours, I got up to 
find that the young woman had written a letter to her 
husband while I slept, confessing her wayward life. 

"Preacher," she said, "I have confessed my sins 
to God and He has forgiven me. I'm writing my hus- 
band all about it —I hope he will let me go back to him." 

Two weeks later I was in Boone, and the pastor of 
the little church in the community where I had had this 
experience came to me and said, "Preacher, I baptized 
old Mose Triplet last Sunday!" 

I said, "Raymond, how in the world did it happen?" 

He answered, "You remember that young woman 
who was saved when you were there fishing? She 
surely got religion — she went down the highway telling 
everyone she met about it. She met old Mose in the road 
and had him on his knees, and he was converted right 
there. He came to the church, joined in on profession of 
faith in Christ, and I baptized him." 

Old Mose was 95 years old, and I had known him as 
a boy and he was the most wicked man I ever knew. 
Years earlier I had gone to his home and tried to talk 
to him, and he had cursed me and said he wanted none 
of me or my God. 

Two weeks after the talk with that pastor I was in 
Charlotte in a school of missions. On Monday morning 
I bought a paper and read, "Oldest Man in Wilkes 
County Buried Yesterday." It was Mose Triplet. 


How wonderful God is! His mercy endures forever! 
I knew God sent me on that fishing trip to win that 
woman and that old man — may God be praised. 

•¥■ ¥ * 

Another stewardship revival that Lives in my memory 
was in a church in the Three Forks Association about 
ten miles from Boone, North Carolina. The first night 
a man was there who had walked about two miles down 
a mountain to be at the meeting. 

Later he admitted to me, "I just came to see what 
the new preacher looked like and hear what he was 
talking about." 

But he got interested, and he came off that mountain 
every night of the meeting. On Wednesday night some 
one stood up and announced that a truck would come 
around the next day to pick up produce for the Baptist 
orphanage. This man spoke up and said, "Tell them 
to come by my house; I want to send them young-uns 
some 'taters." 

The next night before services started he came to me 
and asked if he could say something before I spoke. I 
gave him the opportunity, and this is what he said: 

"Brothers and sisters, you know that twenty years 
ago you turned me out of this church for being drunk. 
I was drunk, and I guess I've been drunk a hundred 
times since. But this morning the Lord forgave me 
and I want you to forgive me and restore me to fel- 
lowship in this church." 

Of course, the church was happy to restore him to 
full fellowship, and they promptly did so. 

"Preacher," he asked, "will you let me tell how 
it happened?" 

I said, "Sure! Go on." 

Here is his story told us nearly as possible the 
way he told it that night: 

"You remember I said last night for the truck to 
come by, that I wanted to give them young-uns some 
'taters. Well, I decided to give them fifteen bushels. 
So I got my sacks and started down to the basement to 
sack them up. The devil went with me. I had three 
kinds of 'taters: No. #2, No.#l, and cut 'taters. 


The devil said, 'Measure up them No. #2's. You 
can only get 40 cents a bushel for them. 5 

I said, 'Devil, I ain't gonna do it.' 

He then set in on me to measure up them cut 'taters. 
He said, 'They'll rot on you. Send 'em on to the young- 
uns and they'll eat them before they can rot.' 

'Devil,' I said again, 'I ain't goingtodo it. I'm going 
to give them No. #1 'taters!' 

When I said that, the Lord came into that basement, 
forgave me my sins, and we shouted all over that base- 

That old man walked off that mountain and taught 
a Bible class in that church as long as he was able to 
go. Shortly before he went on to be with the Master I 
went to see him. He was an invalid, but he was praising 
the Lord and waiting happily to be called Home. 

* * * 

Another time I was asked to go to a small town 
church to speak on stewardship for a few days. I ar- 
rived on Sunday evening, with plans to stay in the home 
of the pastor. 

I noticed that they didn't draw water from their own 
well, but were carrying their drinking and cooking water 
from across the street at the Methodist parsonage . I was 
informed that they had an old-fashioned well, and every 
time they drew up a bucket of water it had snails in it, 

Baptists were drinking Methodist water. 

The Sunday evening meeting went ahead on schedule, 
but the chairman of the board of deacons was not present. 
He was a banker, and on Monday morning I went to visit 
him at his office. He informed me that he had gone to 
visit a friend in a nearby town on Sunday night. Further- 
more, he didn't feel that his church needed the type of 
meeting that I was conducting. Nevertheless, he plan- 
ned to attend that night, since he was the chairman of the 
board of deacons and felt that he couldn't afford not to 

"We have a peaceful church and a good pastor," he 
said, "and we'd rather not be disturbed." 

Later that morning the pastor and I went to the 
church house to look it over, and when I asked to go 


into the basement to see his Sunday school rooms he 
said, "There's nothing down there but a mud hole." 

We went down anyway and I said to him, "Why don't 
you finish this for your Sunday school ? You have several 
classes meeting in the auditorium. , 

"I've tried several times," he told me, "but I have 
two wealthy deacons and they block it." 

The chairman was one of the two. 

That afternoon I went out to look over the surround- 
ing community and visit some of the members. I saw 
their wonderful dairy barns, their well built hog pens, 
and their beautiful homes. The more I looked, the more 
my spirit burned within me. By service time both 
barrels of my gun were loaded — I meant to pull the 
trigger and let them have it that night. I might get 
run off, but at least they would know, in the words of 
Ezekial, "that a prophet of God had been among them." 

When we got to the church that night those two dea- 
cons were there, sitting on the front row. I stood down 
on the floor in front of them. 

"Brother deacon," I said, "You told me you have a 
peaceful church, a good preacher, and you don't want to 
be disturbed. But you know, I read in my Bible, 'woe 
unto them that are at ease in Zion.' " 

I then proceeded to tell that congregation of my visit 
through the community , seeing all those wonderful 
homes, stock barns, and hog pens. Then I called atten- 
tion to the basement of their church and the need for 
Sunday school space. I told them I had read a story that 
illustrated their case: 

"Way back in the mountains, John and Mary got 
married, and sometime later a little baby was born. 
One cold night the baby got sick, and Mary awoke John 
and asked him to get up and build a fire and help doctor 
the baby. John grunted and went back to sleep. Mary 
got up, built the fire herself, and doctored the baby. 
About the time she got back in bed a pig squealed in the 
barn and John jumped out of bed, dressed, and went out 
to look after the pig. Later he came back and crawled 
into bed, almost frozen. 

'John,' Mary said, 'I tried to get you up to help 


doctor this baby and you wouldn't. Yet you went out in 
the cold to look after a pig. Do you know why you did 
that ?' 

John said, 'No.' 

'I can tell you,' his wife declared. 'That pig has a 
thoroughbred daddy and this baby has a scrub.' " 

"That's the secret of these wonderful barns and pig 
pens: your stock has thoroughbred daddies, and these 
children have scrubs! If it weren't that way you would 
have provided a place to teach them the Word of God!" 

Those two deacons didn't miss another service that 
week, and one of them even took me to a clothing store 
in town and clothed me from head to foot. The chairman 
came to me after the last service, asked me to take out 
my date book, and put his church down in it my first open 

"I want you to come back, stand down on the floor, 
and tell us more about what God wants me and this 
church to do," he said. 

About six months later I went back for another week 
as we had planned, and on Monday that chairman asked 
me to come to the bank. When I got there, he wanted 
me to go with him and the pastor to look over the church 
house. We did, and in those six months they had finished 
the basement and put in it several nice classrooms. 

Later I asked the pastor how he had done it, and he 
told me that the two wealthy deacons had led in it, and 
it had been done with no trouble. 

But one thing still bothered me — the pastor still 
lived in the snail house! 

On Thursday afternoon the banker deacon asked me to 
come to the bank andtalktohim. When I went, he asked 
if he might have a few minutes of the service that night. 
Of course I gave my consent. 

That evening he told the church that he had bought a 
parsonage that day and he would like to sell it to the 
church — but if they didn't want to buy it he would give 
it to them. However, the church voted to buy the pro- 

In one of the services that week I told them that I 
believed the Lord had sent me there for the same reason 


that he sent Socrates to the Athenians: "to sting them 

out of their complacency." 

* * * 

A short time later I was in Oxford in a deacons' 
school, and I told this experience. Several years after- 
ward, I went back to Oxford for a school of missions, 
and while I was there a deacon came to me and said he 
wanted to take me out to his church. 

We went to a large country church and he showed 
me a spacious educational plant they had just finished. 
"Preacher," he said, "there is your 'pig story'; we 
heard you tell it in the deacons' school, came home, 
got busy, and there is the result." 

* * * 

One year I was asked to hold a revival in a small 
church in Wilkes County. Knowing that this church 
had never had a Vacation Bible School, I agreed to go 
on one condition: that they let me bring Mrs. Pipes 
and conduct a Bible school. The church voted to let me 
do it, and in the letter they wrote they said, "If you 
have to have one of them things (meaning the Bible 
school), come on." We went. 

I preached twice a day, and Mrs. Pipes worked in 
the Bible school. I preached for two weeks, and we had 
a two weeks' school. At the close of both, we had twenty- 
four people to baptize, and all but one came through the 
Bible school. Immediately the church voted to have one 
the following year. 

And so the following year we went back and conducted 
the same type of meeting with about the same results. 
But this year, among those who were converted was a 
seventeen-year-old girl, one of the most brilliant stu- 
dents in the high school, who would finish the following 
year. As I talked with her, I learned that she wanted 
badly to go to college, although she felt that it would be 
impossible. A member of a large family, she said there 
was no money available for her to attend college. 

Because we were so impressed with her, Mrs. Pipes 
and I decided to pray and work to see if some way could- 
n't be worked out for her to attend a Baptist college. I 
made a trip to Gardner Webb College , and talked to 


President Elliott about the girl. He told me that if I 
could raise $400.00 he would see that she was allowed 
to go to school there. 

My first thought was of Dr. Ward Barr, pastor of 
the First Baptist Church of Gastonia, North Carolina. 
He had helped me before with other problems , and when 
I broached the subject he said he would be responsible 
for $300.00 of the necessary $400.00. I only needed 

During that year — the girl's last year in high school 
— I was in Fairmont at a deacons' school, and when I 
told about this girl at one of the meetings, one of the 
deacons came to me at the close of the meeting. He 
might give me the other $100.00 if I didn't get it else- 
where. "Come to me later in the year," he said. 

That summer while I was in a revival at an Indian 
church in Pembroke , I told my wife one morning that 
I was going to Fairmont. She agreed to ride with me, 
and as we rode she asked me the reason for the trip. 

I said, "I'm going down thereto get $100.00 to finish 
out the amount needed for that girl to go to Gardner 
Webb College." 

"Daddy," she said, "I'd never go down there begging 

But we kept going, and when we got there I told the 
pastor, Brother Carey Herring, what I had come for. 
He agreed to accompany us, and we looked for him in 
various places, ending up on his farm. When we got 
there he was gone, but we sat down and waited. Later 
when he came in he saw me and said, "What are you 
doing down here?" 

"I came down to get a hundred dollars." 

"From whom?" he asked. 

"From you," I said. I informed him that I never 
forgot when a man indicated the possibility of getting 
money. And I reminded him of what he had said at the 
deacons' school. 

He sat down beside me and said, "Tell me that 
story again." 

I did. 

Then he said, "Let's go back to the desk." 


We went gladly. I was getting closer. 

He got out his checkbook, wrote a check to Gardner 
Webb College for $100.00, and then wrote me one for 

I said, "What's that for?" 

He said, "That's for you for asking me for the 

As we drove back I showed Mrs. Pipes the checks. 

"What's the $25.00 for?" she wanted to know. 

"He gave me that for asking him for the $100.00," 
I replied. 

"Heavens alive, I never heard of a man paying a man 
to beg him for money!" she said. 

I sent the money to President Elliott and the girl 
went to college. 

* * ¥ 

During one of my earliest stewardship revivals, I was 
working at Yates Memorial Baptist Church just out of 
Durham. As was usual, I presented all the objects of 
our Convention, and one night I presented our Baptist 
colleges. I spoke of the need of many students who were 
struggling to get an education, or of some young people 
who wanted to go to college but were financially unable. 
I told about a boy trying to work his way through Mars 
Hill, and about a girl from Cherokee County who wasn't 
able to go to college at all . 

At the close of the week I was presented a check ¥or 
$200.00. It seemed that a big-hearted church member 
had put this amount in the church treasury to be divided 
between the boy and girl I had mentioned. (That was in 
1937, and $200.00 meant a lot more than it does now). 

I brought the check to Mrs. Moore at Mars Hill, and 
asked for a receipt for the boy and girl. I also asked 
her to write the girl that a friend had put $100.00 there 
for her so that she might come to college, and if she 
indicated that she didn't want it it was to be given to 
another worthy student . I carried the boy's receipt to 

I found him in the basement of the Mars Hill Church, 
cleaning the furnace. He had soot all over him — his 
face was so black that I hardly recognized him. When 


I gave him the receipt, it was worth a thousand dollars 
just to see the look in his eyes. 

Today that boy is a leading electronics man at Oak 
Ridge, Tennessee. With two children in the University 
of Tennessee, he is a devoted Christian carrying on for 
the Lord. The girl graduated from Mars Hill, then 
graduated from a state teachers' college, and today is 
a public school teacher and a faithful member of her 
church. The man who helped them has gone on to his 

But there are other instances — many of them — of 
men with big hearts giving money to help students go to 
college. One good brother of Jarrett Springs gave 
$800.00 to help send one girl to Wake Forest and another 
to Mars Hill. Both have now gone out to bless the world. 

Other men have given me money to help pastors back 
in little mountain churches struggling to carry on for 
the Lord. Most of those who helped have now gone to 
reap their own reward. 

"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, 
Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from 
henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest 
from their labours; and their works do follow them." 





This is the greatest stewardship sermon I have ever 
read. It was preached by the Lord Jesus. I have 
preached it hundreds of times. I have herewith out- 
lined it. It is from Luke 16. 

I. JESUS TELLS A STORY - we call it a parable. 

A. There was a rich man who had an unfaithful 

B. The steward, found unfaithful , became frightened 
about his job. 

C . He sought a solution — and found it by leading 
others to be dishonest. 


A. You cannot take your money with you, but you 
can send it ahead of you. 

B. Investing money in the kingdom of heaven is 
banking in heaven — "All you can hold in your 
cold dead hand is what you have given away." 
See Matthew 16:19-20. 

C. Reaction to Jesus' sermon by the Pharisees — 
Luke 16:14-15. 

rus and the Rich Man 

I want to close this outline with a story out of my 
own experience. I sent my youngest son to the Warren 
Wilson College for his last two years of high school. 
One day my older son told me he was going to have this 
younger brother home for dinner and invited me also. 
When I got there he had gone for the younger brother, 
and when they arrived there was another boy with them. 
It was a cold day, and I noticed that he had on my son's 
shirt, but no sweater. Taking my son aside, I ques- 
tioned him about this and he said, "Daddy, he's my 
roommate, and he has no parents and no clothes. So 


I let him have my shirt." 

When they started back I asked this boy to meet me 
at a clothing store the next Saturday, and he said he 
would. When Saturday came I took him to a clerk in the 
store and gave instructions to clothe the boy from his 
feet up with warm clothes and charge them to me. 

When the boy came out with the clothes on his face 
looked like the face of an angel. From then on every 
time he saw me he would throw up his hand and call 
< 'Hello, Mr. Pipes!" 

That young boy went out to war and gave his all so 
that I could have the privilege of preachingthis sermon. 
I know that when I get to heaven I shall hear again that 
happy voice saying , "Hello, Mr. Pipes!" I'm not 
bragging, but how glad I am that I had sense enough to 
invest a little money to make a friend for eternity. 
This is true with all that we invest in eternal souls for 
Jesus Christ. 


Scripture References: Romans 12:2 and Malachi 3:10 

Introduction: In these verses one word is the same: 
the word prove. But I would like to substitute another 
word for this, and that word is experience. See how 
well it goes in Romans: "... that ye may experience 
what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of 
God" and again in Malachi: "Bring ye all the tithes 
into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine 
house, and experience me now herewith, saith the Lord 
of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, 
and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be 
room enough to receive it." 


A. Abraham tried God and wrote across the moun- 
tain Jehovah -Jir eh, the Lord will provide. 

B. Noah by faith tried God, built an ark, and thereby 
condemned the world and became the heir of 


C . By faith Moses led the multitudes out of bondage 

to the Promised Land. 
Have we tried God in faith and experienced his pro- 


A. In Isaiah 40:31 we read: "But they that wait 
(trust) upon the Lord shall renew their strength; 
they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they 
shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk 
and not faint." 

B. This can be illustrated from my own experience: 

One time during a revival a very dear friend was 
unsaved. Many times previously I had talked to him, 
but to no avail. He always told me he was as good as 
the church members. I had continued to pray for him, 
and one night during the revival I called him by name, 
saying that time is bringing us nearer to eternity, and 
it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God 
unprepared to meet Him. Looking up at me he said, 
"Preacher, tell me how to pray and how to be saved." 
I tried, but my words were too weak to help him. That 
night he went home and walked the floor all night beg- 
ging his wife to tell him how to be saved. 

The next day I went out into the woods, got on my 
knees, and told God my problem. Quickly came the 
answer, from Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with 
all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understand- 
ing. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct 
thy paths." 

That night I preached on that text to the congregation, 
but especially to my friend, and he found the way to 
peace and forgiveness. Several years later as he was 
near death I visited him. When I asked how it was with 
him, he said, "Preacher, I've been successful in busi- 
ness all my life; but the greatest transaction I ever 
made was on that night in that little church when I made 
a deal with God for time and eternity." 



A. Have you been investing in the bank of heaven? 

B. God never breaks a promise. This also I can 
say from a personal experience: 

In 1926, when I had my nervous breakdown and went 
to Morganton to the hospital, I had $350.00 in the bank. 
For five weeks in that hospital my mind was a blank. 
When I came to myself I asked if I had to pay them then, 
and they said I did. I told them I didn't know where it 
would come from. They told me I was paid two weeks 
in advance. For my hospitalization of thirteen weeks 
my bill was more than $500.00; but when I left it was 
all paid and I had nearly $700.00 in the bank. I told 
my wife that if I had stayed sick she would have gotten 
rich. You ask me where it came from? I can only say, 
"God never breaks a promise." 

Scripture Reference: Hebrews 12:12-13 

Introduction: In Hebrews 12:1-11 we are taught 
that Christians may expect chastisement for our sins. 
God cleanses those whom he loves. While no chastise- 
ment is pleasant at the time, it yields the fruits of 

In verses 12 and 13 we are told to lift up the hands 
that hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight 
paths for our feet lest that which is lame be turned out 
of the way; but let it rather be healed. When I read 
these two verses, well do I remember how my father 
used to take me out to the old apple tree. When he was 
through with me I always walked away with my hands 
hanging down, and my knees sagging. This is truly a 
picture of verse 13 — my father did this because he 
loved me, and he wanted me to grow up and do some- 
thing with my life. 

Our admonition today is to lift up the hands that 
hang down. Make straight paths for your feet. Go some- 


where! Make paths! Now let us answer the questions: 
How and for what purpose ? 


A. When I am gone from this earth will anyone know 
I have lived? Will I be missed? 

B. Is this world a little better than when I came into 


A. No one can make a path standing still. 

B. So many Christians are still babes in Christ. 
Hebrews 5:12-13. A preacher once said to me, 
"Pipes, I never could preach, but I am the best 
hand in the world to keep the saints from fight- 
ing." I said, "Oh, yes, you are a spiritual baby- 
sitter." Too many of us are baby sitters instead 
of trail blazers. 


A. Are we taking too many detours? 

B. Where are we on Sunday morning? On the golf 
course? The lake? 

C. How can we make our path straight ? Herewith 
another personal experience: 

I remember as a boy on the farm seeing my father 
lay off a corn row in a long field. It would be so straight 
that you could shoot a rifle at one end of the row and it 
would go out at the other end. When I asked how he was 
able to do this, he showed me. He sent me to the far end 
of the row and had me put a long stick with white paper 
tied around the top into the ground. Then he would start 
the mule toward that stick, never taking his eyes off the 
stick. At first I wondered why he didn't look at the 
ground near him instead of at the stick — but when he 
got to the end of the row it was perfectly straight. 

If you and I want our paths straight we must keep 
our eyes upon Jesus, look straight into his face, and the 
things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of 
His wonderful grace. Jesus said, "I am the light of the 


world: he that folio weth me shall not walk in darkness, 

but shall have the light of life." 


A. We walk the godly path not only to get to heaven 
ourselves, but to help others get there as well. 

1. Someone is following in the path we have made. 

2. I might be able to take a drink of whiskey and 
it not hurt me, but would it hurt that one fol- 
lowing me? 

B. One of the saddest expressions in the Bible is 
the heart-broken cry of David: "O Absolom, 
my son, my son, would God I had died for thee." 

Our Stewardship 

The supreme and continuing hunger of God Is for 
fellowship with man. For this, man was created in the 
image and likeness of God and this was lost when man 
sinned. Fellowship was broken, not on God's part, but 
on man's part. God did not forsake man, man forsook 
God. Before this break God walked and talked with man 
in holy fellowship and comradeship in the garden pre- 
pared by God for man's habitation. This was divine 
worship, self-giving, mutual; God gave himself to man, 
and man gave himself to God. Sin entered, broke this 
holy fellowship, and destroyed worship. 


This brings us to the supreme task deep in the heart 
of God, the salvation of his lost sons and daughters. This 
task is the divine objective for which God released all 
the energy manifested in the life, the humiliation, the 
suffering, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus our 
Lord. It was for this supreme objective that Jesus suf- 
fered, bled, and died on Calvary. It was and is this that 
still drives him on, tireless and persistent, seekingtill 
every lost sheep shall be brought back to the fold of God. 

Salvation is fellowship with God; it is true worship, 
the giving of each to the other, a divine sharing of each 


with the other. Someone has defined worship as spiritual 
commerce. This is what took place in Jesus. God be- 
came man and man became God; the Word became flesh; 
the Word was God. Whenever fellowship ceases, true 
worship ceases, salvation becomes static, stagnant, 
dead. Salvation becomes theological, not experiential 
and therefore powerless to affect and change life , either 
the life of the possessor or the lives of others. In this 
condition we cease to be new creatures experientially. 
We become old, stale, stagnant; the world rots; the salt 
has lost its savor and it is henceforth good for nothing 
but to be cast out and trodden under the foot of man. 
Jesus asked the question, "Wherewith shall it be 
salted?" It can be salted. He who made the salt, he 
can bring back the savor even into saltless salt. 


The salvation of lost men must more and more be- 
come the supreme overshadowing mission of the church. 
"As Thou didst send me into the world, even so send I 
them into the world," said Jesus. This must become 
an obsession with us. The business of the church, says 
Dr. Walter N. Johnson, is not to conduct war, but to con- 
duct worship (salvation). The business of the church is 
not to kill and bury, but to cure and make alive dead 
souls through the power of Christ. "Go ye into all the 
world and preach the gospel to every creature." "As 
the Father hath sent me, even so send I you." This is 
the word of the Master given to us. This lays on the 
church its one supreme task. We believe it is the pur- 
pose of God to save the whole creation, but the creation 
can be saved only as man, the supreme object of God's 
love, is brought back into oneness with the Father. This 
is atonement. God's complete redemption can never be 
consummated until man , the central figure , returns home 
to the fold of God and then with him he will bring all he 
possesses into this salvation. This Zacchaeus did. 

God's preparation for this divine task of his church 
has been made. God set himself to the task, first in 
giving Jesus to be the propitiation through whom all the 

world of lost men might find reconciliation and a meet- 
ing place in him. He gathered about him his apostles and 
for about three years ate with them, walked with them, 
slept with them, taught them until many of them could 
say, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." 
Then he was crucified before their very eyes, was buried 
and arose. Surely this was enough. No, this was and is 
not enough. It was not enough for them, said he. They 
must tarry until endued with power from on high. There 
must come into their hearts the one supreme dynamic 
that can never fail. They must be obsessed with the 
same mind, the same heart, the same love that drove 
him through inward compulsion of the Spirit to become 
the slave of God, to pour out his soul unto death, to be 
numbered with the transgressors for the love of lost 
men and women. 

Said the Apostle Paul, "Let this same mind be in 
you, which was also in Christ Jesus." The all consum- 
ing passion of the heart of God must become the all 
consuming passion of the heart of the church. This is 
the mystery of Pentecost. This is what will happen if 
we wait before him on our knees. This passion 
of love comes from God through the Holy Spirit; I know 
not how, but I do know it will never fail. There can be 
and there must be born in our souls this divine com- 
passion that will drive us to limitless ends and make 
us count all things to be lost for the priceless privilege 
of sharing with him in his quest for this priceless being, 
a human soul. 

Without this compassion all our preaching becomes 
sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. All the gift of 
prophecy and all the mysteries we may understand and 
all the knowledge we possess and all the power we may 
have to remove mountains will become naught. And if 
we give all our goods to feed the poor and our bodies to 
be burned, all will be failure without this burning pas- 
sion for dying humanity. 

This is the gripping and growing conviction of my 
life. We must, if we are to live and serve him who died 
for us, dare to go deeper, dare to wait before him in 
prayer and supplication until there arises afresh in our 


breasts this passion that will send us out to live for 
him, to serve for him, to suffer for him, to die with 
him if need be. The early Christians and many others 
across the centuries have had this passion. Our pos- 
session of it will imprint upon every act of service and 
upon every dollar given to God's kingdom the image of 
the suffering, dying, bleeding face of him who came to 
bring us to God. May God help us to wait before him 
until we are endued with power from on high. Then we 
shall go forth and become his witnesses in Jerusalem, 
in Judea, in Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the 




(This message has been given hundreds of times in churches, 
preachers' schools, deacons' schools, and even to individuals. 
It is a composite study in worship through giving. Ed. Note.) 









Elements of worship 

God's ownership is 

The Super-Law or the 

in Pre-Bible days 

incorporated and 

Christian way in all 

asserted in writ- 

Christian living and 


gs of Moses. 

gi ving. 


1. Cain and Abel 
Gen. 4:3-4 


The tithe pecul- 
iarly claimed by 
Jehovah as a 
manifestation of 
His ownership of 
all. Leviticus 

1. Matt. 5:17-20 

2. Matt. 23:1-3 

3. Rom. 8:1-4 


2. Old Testament 


Results of bring- 

The Law not annulled 

opens with offer- 

ing offerings in 

but to be fulfilled in 

ings in worship. 

worship II Chron. 

us who are under the 

Likewise the New. 

29:27, II Chron. 

Spiri t of Grace. 

Matt. 2:11 



3. Abraham, the first 
recorded tither 


Use of tithes 
brought in wor- 

4. Heb. 7:8 

Gen. 14:20 

ship. Num. 18:20- 

In Old Testament men 
paid tithes to men 

4. Jacob the sec- 

who die; now we pay 

ond recorder 


Cause of sad 

tithes to Him who 

tither. Gen. 28: 

pi ight of temple 

lives FOREVER. 




worship in Nehe- 
miah's day. Ne- 
hemiah 13:4-10 

Cause of dege- 
neration of true 
worship in Mal- 
achi's day. Mal- 
achi 1:11-14 

The way of re- 
storation and 
blessing. Mala- 
chi 3:7-12 

God's Universal 

"TRY ME". 




Note: Originally written in the form of a letter to 
M. A. Huggins, the following chapter next appeared as 
the booklet, "Life and Reality in the Shadow of Death." 
Feeling as we do that it represents J. C. Pipes in a 
unique way, we present it again here. It was written 
following the passing of Nora Pipes, his wife of twenty- 
one years. 

There are yet, at times, some tears in my eyes! I 
would not have it otherwise, but there is a new light and 
joy in my heart. I have come to know Jesus in a new 
way. I believe I have never had such a vital and glori- 
ous experience as I have had these last few days. 

The first two days were dark, oh, so dark! To me 
the first day was Gethsemane and Calvary. The second 
day was the day of darkness when I could not see His 
face. It must have been comparable with the day that 
Jesus lay in the tomb. But then Saturday morning was 
Easter not only in tradition but in vital experience. The 
text of the first day was that experience as He wept 
with Martha and Mary. 

I heard Him say, "I come to weep with you," "and 
surely there is something that I caught from that ex- 
perience that made me able to appreciate and love Him 
more deeply than I had ever before. The second day 
the message was not from the Bible, but from an old 
song: "When through the deep waters I call thee to go, 
the sorrows of death shall not thee overflow, for I WILL 
BE WITH THEE thy troubles to bless and sanctify to 
thee, thy deepest distress." I said to Him: "I can do 
all things through Christ who strengthened me." I was 
more conscious of His presence than I was of you though 
my heart was bleeding while we sat there in the hotel. 
I am so glad it was so. 

The third morning, Saturday, I awoke at four -thirty. 
A sermon outline on my work in His kingdom was the 


first thing that came to me. It was on shepherds seek- 
ing a saviour, and rejoicing, and telling; and then on wise 
men seeking a Lord or King and openingtheir treasures; 
and one of those treasures that they presented to Him 
was perfume for the burial. I got up and wrote the out- 
line first for I felt that I had come face to face with HIM 
not only as Saviour but also as Lord and King, and that 
now I was being called upon to make the supreme offer- 
ing of my life, an offering completed that morning as I 
was to stand by the grave and commit to the earth the 
most precious of all treasures that he had ever commit- 
ted to me. I was happy to bring to His blessed feet my 
dearest treasure and gladly and joyfully present to him 
the blood from my very heart. 

After I had written the outline another text came be- 
fore it was yet light and a voice said, "Why seek ye the 
living among the dead. He is not here, but is risen." 
I became conscious of a holy presence in my little room. 
And in that presence, somehow, Nora stood there more 
real and closer to me than she had ever before. I heard 
a voice, (not with my ears, but deeper than my sense of 
hearing; for if I had heard it with my ears I should have 
been sure it was delusion,) which said, "I did not come 
to rob you, but I came to answer both your and her 
prayers, that she could go with you across those hills 
to carry MY message. I could not answer your prayers 
in the way you thought, for the children needed her; but 
as you have given her to Me I have come to give her 
back to you alive from the dead. She will be with you on 
every trip, and she also will be so near your children 
that should the tempter come, she can whisper and touch 
and they will hear." The sun arose on that Easter 
morning in Reality. I lost all desire to see the body 
for I was so conscious of her joyful presence that there 
was no attraction in the body. As the day went on, it 
grew brighter and brighter, and the sun shone more 
gloriously than it had ever shined to me before. 

It was now time to go to the church where the body 
lay in state. We went and Lena (a daughter) walked by 
my side. It did not seem to me like a funeral. I could 
not feel myself fitting into a funeral. We took our seats 


with the rest of the family, and as I lifted my eyes to 
that bank of flowers a heavenly light enveloped them, 
and I caught Lena by the armandsaid: "Oh, Lena, this 
is heaven." 

At that very moment I knew I must stand up that 
day before that group and bear testimony to the eternal, 
and that, for me, death, the last enemy, was destroyed. 
Lena was afraid for me, but I told her not to fear for I 
was in the hands of Him who was able to sustain, and 
that He would glorify Himself, (reveal Himself), in keep- 
ing power. I sent for Pastor Covert and told him that 
when all had been spoken I wanted to give a few words 
of testimony. This privilege was granted me. Those 
few minutes were the most glorious of my life for His 
sake. All the while I was absolutely indifferent to the 
idea that Nora was in the casket. When the funeral 
service at Weaverville was over, I did not have any 
sense of a funeral but it seemed to me I was living in a 
new world. I did not want sympathy, but I wanted every- 
one to share with me in the realm of a new world, in 
which death had been annihilated. 

We left the Weaverville church for the Gabriel's 
Creek cemetery where her body was to rest in its 
mother earth. During the drive all the way I was riding 
in a glorious chariot propelled by the power of the eter- 
nal which was created for His glory. Everything became 
sacred. As we made the trip, I became conscious that 
God wanted Lewis, my son, to bear a testimony. I won- 
dered if I should mention it to him. The spirit said, 
"No, I will direct you." 

At the little church were gathered her own people 
according to the flesh. Many of them were old. I asked 
that the body be carried into the little church where 
she had found the Lord when a young girl, and where 
she had been baptized in the name of Father, Son and 
Holy Spirit. I asked Brother Sprinkle to sing "How 
Firm a Foundation," and I asked Brother Covert to 
sing "Jerusalem the Golden." Dr. R. L. Moore then 
led in prayer. Then still in His hand I took charge of 
the direction of the service. Still conscious of His 
guidance I asked the undertaker to open the casket so 


I could see right into her face as I stood by her casket. 
Under His blessed direction and with all freedom and 
composure I bore testimony to the eternal Presence and 
the consciousness and certainty of Easter, not alone 
traditionally, but more blessedly mine now and forever 

When I finished, I just turned and asked Lewis if he 
wished to speak. Without hesitation he arose to make 
the first public talk of his life. I shall not describe that 
testimony which lasted about seven minutes. As we 
came back he told me that all the time he knew I was 
going to ask him, and that he was happy to have the 
privilege of speaking out of his heart that which had 
become more real to him than life. 

All that evening there was no sorrow. I stood by the 
grave and watched the grave fill without a tear, with no 
sense that "Mother" was being buried. We covered the 
grave with hundreds of bright flowers, the loving gifts 
of numerous friends and churches, and set the monu- 
ment. Then this thought came to me: How happy I am 
to be able to place in a beautiful casket, and cover this 
mound with flowers to the honor of God , my own 
Father, who could take less than $2.00 worth of material 
and build a machine that for 49 years could carry on; and 
for 21 years could carry burdens, cook bread, iron 
shirts, and press clothes for a country preacher that he 
might go out over valley and hill to carry the message 
that, if accepted, and incarnated, would transform all the 
earth into Heaven and would make men into the image 
of the Eternal. What a blessed Experience! 

Monday I awoke at four o'clock in the morning and 
sat with Him and her in a blessed fellowship for almost 
two hours before the rest of the famUy arose. As the 
day progressed the light shone brighter and brighter. 
I went to town. I started early, but it was almost noon 
before i got there. Everywhere I stopped men had 
sensed the presence of the Eternal and bore testimony 
to the blessedness of what they had given away. Today 
I am still in His blessed presence. Still I cannot sense 
that Nora is in the cemetery. Somehow I am conscious 
that Jesus has taken that which was dearest to me and 


has made her one with Himself. Here is what, it seems 
to me, I am sensing in this conscious vital reality. This 
companion in labor, love, and service who has walked 
with me across these twenty-one years keeps comingto 
me. But her existence on the physical level seems to 
fade and I am left in the presence of Jesus only. I can 
now begin to understand that expression which closes the 
account of the transfiguration experience in Luke 9:28- 
36. The disciples were for a moment conscious of the 
presence of Moses and Elijah. "And when the voice 
came, Jesus was found alone." 

Then also it seems that she is coming to me not in 
the relationship of husband and wife from the standpoint 
of earthly relationship, but in a more blessed relation- 
ship of having been a co -laborer with me in the eternal 
purpose and plan of God; I shall know her no more in 
the same relationship that I knew her here but in a more 
holy and more blessed and eternal fellowship with him 
which will be so far beyond our joyful companionship 
here in service that now my poor finite mind cannot 
conceive of it. 

Again another vision came over my heart as I came 
from Winston-Salem to Asheville, on my way home with 
her body. It came almost simultaneously with the sense 
of His presence weeping with me, related earlier in this 
paper. It seemed there arose before my view earth's 
multiplied millions, sick in body and mind and spirit, 
as I was; yet they knew no blessed One to whom they 
could come who is weeping with them. They were sit- 
ting alone in the shadow of death without any one to 
share their grief or to comfort them. This vision 
brought to me a new incentive, which remains to this 
hour , to dedicate more deeply all my energies to God 
in communicating to all these lonely desolate groups the 
fellowship that was now consciously mine as the One 
above every one sat with me and wept with me. And 
now as I go on, this desire increases; and it seems that 
the experience of Paul in II Corinthians 14 has been and 
is still increasingly my experience. This love picks me 
up and pushes me on. To this end, I dedicate myself by 
his grace, till he calls me to Himself, at the close of 
the day. _ 


By Ruth S . Pipes 

For over twenty years now we have walked together. 
Many times through these years my inadequacy has 
been too great for me, but always the Lord has shown 
me the way through to the other side. It is certainly 
true that I have learned many things and had many won- 
derful opportunities that would not have come had 
I not entered into my union with James Carter Pipes. 
I have always tried to ask — and answer — the question 
in my marriage, "What can I add??"instead of "What 
can I receive?" In trying to do this I have received an 
immeasurable blessing as together we continue to seek 
God's leadership in our lives. 

At first, as we discussed marriage, the thought of 
being a preacher's wife frightened me. Then, too, we 
both had responsibilities. I had my widowed mother 
and my niece, and he had his children. And so, even 
though we had great respect and love for each other, 
we both prayed that the Lord would close the doors for 
us if this marriage could not be good in His great wis- 
dom. But the doors seemed to open wider and wider, 
and so in spite of the difficulties and responsibilities, 
we entered into marriage together. 

As I already knew, life with James Carter also meant 
life with a ready-made family. I didn't expect them to 
accept me as a mother, and I asked that they call me 
Ruth. To this day I am grateful for all of them, their 
consideration, and their respect. 

I am sure it was hard for them, as it sometimes was 
for me. I remember one especially difficult time when 
Daddy came to me and said, "Come with me. I'm going 
way back in the country. We'll make my appointment 
and stay somewhere." And it was "way back," too, 
but I shall never forget the experience. 

Inside, I was suffering death. It seemed to me I had 
made a mess of things and there was no way out. I was 
not even conscious of what was going on around me in 


that little church until a rough mountaineer went to the 
front and in a tremendous bass voice sang "Victory in 

Well, he sang it just for me that day. The victory 
that I received sitting there in that little one -room 
church was one of those tremendous experiences that 
only Jesus can give. 

"What if you hadn't come?" Daddy asked. He 
always seemed to know what I needed at just the right 
time. I began to understand that day that when so many 
unanswered problems come, it might be that God is 
saying, "I want some fellowship with you; you are neg- 
lecting me." 

Another problem that I had to learn to overcome 
was worry. All my life I had been a natural worrier. I 
would even worry after something had happened, about 
whether it had been my fault , and what I might have done 
to make things turn out differently. 

After our marriage I worried about what I would do 
when I became older and might not find a job. Over and 
over James Carter would say, "Trust the Lord, accept 
the things that are inevitable, and stop worrying." It 
took a long time, but I have finally learned to do this. In 
fact, I have become such a non-worrier that one day he 
said, "When you stopped, you stopped, didn't you?" 

One of the great privileges that has come to me since 
our marriage is that of listening to the great teachers 
as they taught the Bible. So often there would be a meet- 
ing, and I would say, "I mustn't attend this meeting. 
It's just for preachers." And James Carter would 
reply, "That's all right. You're my wife, and I'm glad 
for you to go." In this way we have enjoyed studying 
the Bible together. Daddy always wanted me to meet 
and hear the great saints of God that he had come to 
know. There were many of them along the way. I could 
have never had this experience apart from our marriage. 

Of course his work involved a great deal of travel, 
and when he had had a great week away he always seem- 
ed anxious to get home and go over the good things he 
had learned with me. In fact, most of our married years 
have been spent with his comings and goings . While it 
was lonely this way, we always looked forward to the 


times when he would return home for a day or two. 
Some of the time I went with him, and these weeks 
brought me acquaintances that have become lifelong 

Another privilege as the wife of J.C. Pipes was that 
of constant and continuous "open house" for preachers. 
At first it was hard for me to accept all the preachers' 
requests to come to our house anytime, but now I know 
I would have missed so much if it had not been this way. 

Our dear friend, J. R. Moseley, accepted our home 
as his when he came to Asheville. When he planned to 
come, he would write a card and tell us when to meet 
him. These times with him proved to be some of the 
highlights of our lives. 

For one thing, I became interested in the value of 
foods as a result of his great knowledge of food. He 
would always share with me any new insight into food 
values he had learned. And then when he came we 
would always have little group meetings in our home, 
so that others could share this wonderful experience. 

What a joy our own little daughter brought to our 
union. She was such a good traveler, and thoroughly 
enjoyed going places with her daddy. He was always 
so patient to show her what this or that letter was, or 
to tell her what town we were entering. I remember 
once in a small hotel in West Jefferson he became pro- 
voked with her . 

"Lynda," he said quite sternly, "if you don't behave 
yourself I will take off my belt to you." 

Lynda thought a second and replied, "Yes, and your 
pants will fall off, too." With that he dismissed the 
whole thing with a laugh. 

Although we didn't always see things alike, we agreed 
that we would cooperate in the discipline of the little 
ones. I say little ones because we had Libby for three - 
and-a-half years. One wek-end Daddy came home and 
told me about a new plan at the Orphanage to let homes 
take children as foster children. We talked and prayed 
about it, and finally decided to ask for a little girl. When 
we consulted Lynda, she requested that we get her a 
twin; and so we applied for a girl as near her age as 


After all the necessary examinations had been gone 
through, we waited about a year before they came to tell 
us they had two little girls — one that we might be able 
to keep, and one we probably would not. After consider- 
ing everything and seeking to make the best decision 
for all concerned, we made our choice without ever 
seeing either girl. We decided to ask for the girl who 
might be able to be ours for good. 

Even from the moment that we went for her, Libby 
seemed to accept us, and we loved her very much. The 
two girls really enjoyed trying to be twins. In fact, 
someone once asked them if they were twins , and Lynda 
said, "As soon as we get all our clothes made alike we 
will be." 

The years flew in our happy home, and to our dis- 
appointment the day came when we had to give Libby 
up . On her last day with us Libby was in a music recital , 
and she planned to sing "It Is No Secret." I didn't think 
I could take it, but I wouldn't have denied her the privi- 
lege of singing it. Daddy forsook me that day — I have 
always believed that he just couldn't stand it, or else 
he would have excused himself from his work that one 

The room was filled, the teacher was playing the 
accompaniment, and Libby was singing the song with all 
her heart and looking right at me. When she came to 
the words, "There is no night, for in His light you'll 
never walk alone," it was too much — she broke down, 
ran, and climbed up in my lap and we both cried with 
all our hearts. Even today we cannot hear that lovely 
song without feeling this experience very deeply again. 

But happily that was not the end of our wonderful 
relationship with Libby. Every summer except one we 
had the joy of having her for awhile, until she was mar- 
ried. When her husband went overseas we got a letter 
one day asking, "Can I come home while Frank is over- 
seas?" Of course the answer was "yes." We are so 
grateful for Libby, her husband Frank and their daugh- 
ter Shannon Ruth, and especially for their dedication to 
the Lord. 

We are grateful for our own daughter, now a nurse. 

Always impressed that she was to be a nurse, Lynda 
never wavered from her calling to this type of ministry. 
Even after being turned down by her first choice of a 
nursing school, she continued to look until she found 
another that was very good and acceptable to her. 

Now that the children are all gone, James Carter 
and I still find our lives busy and full. We are both 
employed by the Buncombe Association, he as repre- 
sentative at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville, 
and I in the associational office. 

When we were married, I didn't even know what an 
association was. I well remember that he would bring 
home work to be done, and so I became his secretary. 
It was with the training thus gleaned over the years 
that I was offered the work in the Buncombe Association. 
Over eight years ago now, I was called about taking the 
job, and I immediately said "No," knowing that Daddy 
had never wanted me to work outside the home. 

"Why did you say no?" he wanted to know when I had 
hung up the phone. 

Surprised that he would even want me to consider it, 
I said, "Well, it's too late now. I've already refused it." 

I thought little more about it until a day or so later 
when another call came saying that they were coming to 
see me about the job. Somehow this time I knew that I 
must take it — that it was not of my choosing, but some- 
thing that the Lord was working out for us. 

And so for eight years I have thoroughly enjoyed 
working with all the wonderful people in the churches 
of the Buncombe Association. How little did. I know 
when I worried about my future work and did Daddy's 
secretarial chores that I was preparing for this service 
in the Kingdom. 

And so these past twenty years have been wonderful 
years, as we have walked together. There have been 
trials and problems, but through them all we have 
gained strength from each other and most of all from 
Christ, whose children we are. 

t t 1 1 t 



By Ellen Scofield Silvers 

The first time I met J. C. Pipes we were, appro- 
priately enough, at Mars Hill College. 

For years I had heard my father speak affectionately 
of "Carter Pipes" and mimic that wonderful, unique 
voice as he told the Pipes legends. And so one evening 
as my husband and I walked up the hill toward Stroup 
Dormitory, I heard him — and I knew instantly who it 
was. With much excitement I hurried up the steps to 
shake his hand and get to know him personally. 

That was in 1962, and in the years since I have come 
to love deeply "Pipes" and his wonderful wife Ruth. I 
have had the opportunity of working with them on this 
book — such a blessed privilege as might be expected 
once in a lifetime. 

As I have studied this man Pipes and have delved 
into the vast influence he has exerted in this beautiful 
mountain section of our state, I am overwhelmed at 
the deep respect and love that is expressed at every 
turn. Over and over as I have asked the question, "Do 
you know Pipes?", I have had the joyous experience of 
watching eyes light up, and enthusiasm mount. And al- 
ways there is something, perhaps something small, 
more often something important, that this man of God 
had done for a church or association. His influence in 
this part of our state cannot possibly be over-estimated. 
For each story of stewardship and mission advance he 
has told here, there are probably twenty or more untold. 
He is truly in every sense of the word the pioneer of 
Baptist mountain preachers. 

Not only in the mountains of North Carolina, but 
throughout all Southern Baptist work J. C. Pipes has 
made a name for himself. On June 5, 1959, he was 
chosen one of six speakers at a conference on Motiva- 
tions for the Ministry, sponsored by the Lilly Founda- 
tion, at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louis- 
ville, Kentucky. In this study by research men and 


denominational executives from all over America, the 
concern was to discuss why men enter the ministry. 
Said Wayne E. Oates of Southern Seminary, "They 
wanted the person in America who could most whole- 
heartedly represent the point of view that God calls 
men to the ministry, that the ministry is a gift of God's 
calling grace. Yet, they wanted such a man who also 
was committed to the education of the ministry with a 
whole heart ... I was asked whom I would recommend, 
and immediately J. C. Pipes came to my mind. He is 
a gem of purest ray serene on both these counts. They 
invited Brother Pipes to talk with the group." 

After the lengthy conference was over and Mr. Pipes 
had captured the respect and love of the scholars during 
that week of research, one of the psychoanalysts , accord- 
ing to Dr. Oates, said: "Pipes knows something my 
students do not know. He knows the Bible! He knows 
he is called of God, but he is a man of astounding humili- 
ty and sound judgment." 

Concluded Dr. Oates, "We were all moved with awe 
and wonder to see the way in which this uncomplicated 
and dedicated preacher of the hills could communicate 
with the sophisticated research men of the cities." 

J. C . Pipes has been honored in other ways by those 
who love him, and one tribute came to him in connec- 
tion with his beloved Mars Hill College. On July 2, 
1959 — shortly after his Lilly Foundation experience — 
during the annual week of Christian Study and Fellow- 
ship, Mr. Pipes was the guest of honor for "J. C. Pipes 
Day," and a tremendous day it was for him. That even- 
ing he was the guest of honor at a banquet in the dining 
hall of the College, with many testimonies to his life 
and service. In his tribute to J. C. Pipes which began 
the program for the evening, C. W. Bazemore said of 
Mr. Pipes: "J. C. Pipes has stood up to preach in 
little Baptist meeting houses in faraway mountain coves; 
he has witnessed to lost men in lonesome places up and 
down these hills and valleys; he has travelled in heat and 
cold to reach the last outpost where the Word of God 
might fall on listening ears and ready hearts. Here is 
a preacher who has stood in great churches with that 


Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Pipes as they worked together in a Vacation 
Bible School in the Newfound Association. 

Mars Hill Pastors' School, 1962. J. C. Pipes in the midst of 
one of life's greatest moments. 

J. C. Pipes in front of the chimney of his birthplace at Darby, 
North Carolina. 


same vital, fearless message of a crucified, risen, 
triumphant Lord that he has known and loved all his days. 

"Carter Pipes has, like Moses, stood on mountain 
tops to commune with Jehovah God, and then gone eager- 
ly down into the valleys where lost people were waiting 
to hear him . . . Mountain people with little schooling, 
fishermen on the Carolina coasts, masses of humble 
folk whose ears were open to plain speech, have been 
blessed by the vital, powerful messages of this man who 
so loved and understood the hearts and minds of people 
in every walk of life." 

Even after the memorable "J. C. Pipes Day" was 
over, letters poured in, letters showing the depth of 
feeling of Baptist people for this man. Wrote Earle L. 
Bradley: "Eternity alone will reveal your contribution 
to the Baptists of North Carolina — and I think eternity 
alone will reveal the love and respect of North Carolina 
Baptists for you." Claude F. Gaddy said, "I have come 
to appreciate you and your distinct contributions to our 
work," and from Nane Starnes came these words: "In 
a peculiar way he has loved and lived for the preachers 
and churches of the great western section of North 

And yet it is in the personal encounter with J. C. 
Pipes that you come to realize his greatness. This 
summer as we studied and worshipped together at the 
annual Week of Christian Study and Fellowship at Mars 
Hill, Mr. Pipes, my husband, a pastor friend, and I 
decided to make a historic trek "back to Bethel" — 
back to Mr. Pipes' first pastorate at Flag Pond, 

We began in the afternoon that hard climb from Mars 
Hill to the Tennessee line. As we went dipping and dart- 
ing around the hairpin turns that are so evident on that 
road, the mountains gradually became more rugged and 
steep. Fleetingly my thoughts turned to the pioneers 
who must have traversed these very hills as, watching 
Mr. Pipes point out a creek here and a path there, I 
suddenly knew that he was truly a modern day pioneer 
himself! To listen to him describe that eighteen-mile 
walk to Flag Pond and back from Mars Hill — and de- 

scribe it wonderfully clearly — was amazing. I 
remembered something that C. W. Bazemore had said 
on "J. C. Pipes Day," and shomehow it fitted: "God 
gave to Carter Pipes the gifts of a strong body, a keen 
mind, a great soul, and a heart big enough to love the 
last lonesome, lost man, woman, boy and girl he could 

What a trip! In a car somehow the full impact is 
missed, but even so one is able to get a small idea 
by allowing the imagination full sway. I could not but 
wonder how many young preachers now would make 
such a trip. 

When we arrived in the town of Flag Pond, we of 
course went immediately to the Flag Pond Baptist 
Church. The old church is long since gone, but the new 
one is there, on the very same plot of ground. The 
pastor, Frank D. Proffitt, was away, but his gracious 
wife Polly showed us all through the small, dignified 
church building. Through the windows, tinted a soft 
rose, the light furniture and new organ showed to good 
advantage, and it was plain to be seen that Mr. Pipes 
was glad he had come. 

From the church we rode around the community, 
and Mr. Pipes was readily able to point out this old 
home, that old barn, or this road leading to Hogskin, 
or Rice Creek, or some other such place. We visited 
in one home, that of Mrs. Jesse Cornett. 

I shall never forget that first encounter as we walked 
up on the porch — the four of us must have been a 
strange sight in that small place on a weekday afternoon, 
but Mr. Pipes went right to the door and knocked vigor- 
ously. When Mrs. Cornett 's sister came to the door, 
he said, "I know you. I baptized you!" 

She looked very carefully at him. "No, you didn't," 
she said, "Brother ************ baptized me." 

"Then I baptized your sister," Mr. Pipes went on 

There was a long, significant pause, and then sudden- 
ly the door fairly flew open. "You're Brother Pipes!! 
Come in!" 

And then such a homecomeing as there was in that 


home!! Remembrances flew thick and fast as people 
were discussed and events gone over, and church his- 
tory recalled. Wisely, I think, my husband, our friend, 
Rev. Clarence Jones, and I sat quietly — just enjoying 
the happy confusion. 

With much accompanying laughter, Mr. Pipes re- 
membered the good brother from that church who had 
stood with several others on the porch of the local store 
one Saturday and announced, "We've got to pay the 
preacher. I believe in paying the preacher! And to 
prove it, I want you to know I pay this one twenty-five 
cents a year!" 

But quickly, as though to be fair, Mr. Pipes re- 
called one time when he was invited into the home of 
this same gentleman for the evening meal. It was dur- 
ing a season of revival, and when he arrived at the 
appointed time, there was seemingly no one home. The 
table was set with warm food, but the house was empty 
of people. Walking toward the barn to seek his host, 
Mr. Pipes said that he heard that good Christian man 
inside the barn in earnest prayer for the night's meeting. 
A few steps farther on, he heard the wife praying. 

Soon the meal went on as planned, but that night at 
the church, before time for the sermon, this church 
member stood up and said, "I know that Miss So-and-so 
is going to be saved tonight — and she knows it too! 
This began an earnest time of soul-searching in that 
church, Mr. Pipes recalled, until many did come, and 
he didn't even preach at all that evening! 

And so our visit flew, and as we left Flag Pond 
that afternoon, tired but happy, it became for me a 
cherished memory to keep — a living page in the his- 
tory of J. C. Pipes. 

However, though Mr. Pipes has lived a long and 
fruitful life, he is by no means idle today. Still vitally 
concerned that people have the comfort and joy of know- 
ing Jesus Christ as Saviour in a personal way, he is now 
working with the Buncombe County Baptist Association 
as representative at Memorial Mission Hospital in 
Asheville. In this capacity Mr. Pipes acts as chaplain 
to out-of-town patients and local patients with no church 

affiliation. He is available to any patient upon request, 
and he assists in special problems with patients as re- 
quested by hospital personnel. Said the hospital Admin- 
istrator in a letter to the association, "On behalf of the 
hospital we would like to express our deep appreciation 
to the Buncombe County Baptist Association for pro- 
viding the services of Mr. Pipes." 

And so over the years the tributes of love and 
respect have come for this wonderfully vital and dedi- 
cated man of God. To know him and feel the influence 
of his work has been an immeasurable joy. I join with 
those many to whom "Pipes" is a very special person 
— the personal envoy of the Almighty God to the South- 
ern Baptists of these lovely mountains of North Carolina. 
For us he is truly the pioneer of mountain preachers. 

* * * 

Constantly as I have worked on this wonderful, in- 
spirational story of J. C. Pipes, I have run across 
stories — "Pipes yarns" as they are sometimes refer- 
red to. I have not found elsewhere the proper place for 
them, and yet I would not have them excluded. Here, 
then, are some of the more well-known and oft -told 
anecdotes about J. C. Pipes. 

The first is one told me personally. "My pipe," 
said Mr. Pipes, "was always a subject for much con- 
versation. In a discussion one time with a holiness 
preacher," he went on, "the dear brother said, 'Pipes, 
I don't see how in the world you Baptists can smoke.' " 

Answered Mr. Pipes, "Brother, it's this way. You 
folks preach tobacco and chew the Gospel, and we 
Baptists chew tobacco and preach the Gospel." 

* * * 

Tells Mr. Pipes, "One day when I was driving 
from Asheville toward Murphy, I picked up a boy 
who was hitchhiking. We talked awhile, I found out 
that he was a Bob Jones University boy, and he found 
out that I was a Baptist preacher." 

"It wasn't long before I got out my pipe, and when I 
did, he said, 'Mr. Pipes, if the Lord had meant for you 
to smoke he'd have given you a smokestack.' " 

"I didn't say anything — I just stopped the car, walked 


around, opened his door and said, 'If the Lord had meant 
for you to ride, he'd have put wheels on you.' 
"I won the argument." 

* * * 

Another one of equal richness from Mr. Pipes: 

"One day when I went back to Murphy to visit I was 
talking to a physician friend, Dr. Hill. 

" 'How're you doing?' I asked. 

" 'Fine,' he replied. 

" 'Business all right?' 

"'Oh, goodness, yes. Pipes, everybody's having 
babies — I never saw so many in my whole life. You 
know Hanging Dog, Slow Creek, Peachtree, Brasstown 
and Sweetwater? Well, I got babies lined up in every 
one of those places.' 

" 'Well, Doc, do you get paid well?' I wanted to know. 

"Dr. Hill answered, 'If you don't believe they pay 
me , you go down there in my back yard and look at all 
the pumpkins I got.' 

"I asked, 'Do you take pumpkins for payment?' 

"With a grin, he said, 'Humph. I take anything they 
give me.' " 

* * * 

W. A. Huneycutt, pastor of the First Baptist Church 
of Valdese, North Carolina, recalls that J. C. Pipes 
was the first person whoever made this statement about 
marriage: "When the minister says, 'These two shall 
become as one, he is' never able to tell them which 

one.' " 

* * * 

Another from Mr. Pipes: 

"I thought I knew every little church and road in 
western North Carolina until one day while visiting in 
the hospital I was given the name of a lady who listed 
her church as Hogpen Baptist Church. 

"I said to her, 'Are you really a member of Hogpen 

" 'Yes,' she said. 

"I thought I knew all the Baptist churches in western 
North Carolina, but I never heard of this one. Where is 
it?" I asked. 


"She said, 'It's on Chigger Hill onPecker -wood Road.' 
"I later learned that it was just over the line in 


* * * 

"Mr. Huggins and I were traveling through western 
North Carolina," recounts Mr. Pipes, "and we were 
discussing the limitations of many of the pastors in 
formal education. I said to him, 'I'd rather hear a man 
say 'I seen something' than to hear him say 'I saw 
something' when he hadn't really seen anything.' " 

* ¥ * 

"I have kind of a mixed up family," says Mr. Pipes, 
"and one night I made a statement in a meeting, and a 
man questioned me about it. I said I knew about young- 
sters, because I had five or six myself. 

"He called to me after the service and said, 'Now 
which is it: do you have five or six children?' 

"I said, 'Brother, you come tomorrow night and I 
will try to clear up this statement.' 

"So the next night I said, 'There is a brother here 
who wants me to clear up my statement last night that 
I have five or six children. I'm going to try. My first 
wife and I had two, my second wife was a widow and she 
had two, and she and I had three. My third wife and 
I have one and we got another one from the orphanage . 
Now you figure it out.' " 

* * * 

"I had several problems in my early married life," 
states Mr. Pipes. "I never was lazy — I was always 
ready to work when a job could be found. But I watched 
many of my friends marry and almost starve. I vowed 
that when I got married I would show them how to make 
a living for a family. 

"Well, I got married and moved out to my own two- 
room home. I had made a crop that summer, and my 
father gave us four bushels of irish potatoes and so 
did hers. By early spring about all we had to eat was 
potatoes, corn bread, and molasses. 

"One day my landlord said to me, 'My wife and I 
are coming over next Sunday to eat dinner with you.' 


"I was up a tree. I had no money to buy food, so I 
said to my wife, 'Cook those 'taters every way you 
know how.' 

"Sunday came and on the table were potatoes cooked 
in at least a half dozen ways. One dish looked like 
cooked apples. Finally when all had eaten of every other 
dish except that one, my landlord said, 'Carter, please 
pass the apples.' 

"I said, 'Mark, I'm sorry. That's 'taters too!" 

* * * 

As an appropriate close, I have chosen a story 
which was meant to be included in the book. But the 
more I studied it, the more I realized that this story 
embodies the very heart of missions — which in turn 
is the heart of J. C. Pipes. Here, then, we end our 
study of "Pipes" with his own analysis of himself, 
his vocation, and his sense of mission. 


How did I discover this important fact? Well, I once 
went to the Bladen Association to work in a school of 
missions. When I arrived they gave me a list of the 
missionaries and the church where each of us was to 
work. I looked down the list to find my name and I came 
to this: Dr. J. C. Pipes. 

"Who is this?" I thought. "I'm J. C. Pipes, not 
Dr. Pipes! Dr. Pipes would be a big preacher, and I'm 
a little preacher." 

Then I thought again. They were right — I am a 
big preacher. How can this be? 

Many years I have been tithing my income into my 
church, and a part of my tithe has gone into the Coopera- 
tive Program. Since money is coined man that means 
that part of me has gone all over the world wherever 
the Gospel is preached through our missionaries. I 
have been preaching the Gospel through more than a 
thousand foreign missionaries and more than eleven 
hundred home missionaries. I am a teacher in all our 


Baptist Colleges; lam working in our Baptist Orphanage; 
I am a doctor working with the sick in our Baptist 
Hospital; I am a teacher in all our seminaries; I am 
working in all the work of our Baptist program around 
the world. 

I am a big preacher! How happy I am that God in 
His wisdom granted to the leaders of our great host of 
Southern Baptists the wisdom to work out the Coopera- 
tive Program, whereby the least of us could be great 
preachers and great servants. I thank Him that he has 
granted me the knowledge and insight to grasp a vision 
of this. 

I am growing old and am retired from the active 
ministry, but yet I can go on around the world in my 
tithes and offerings preaching, teaching, and healing. 

The End 



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